HONEST ROCK 'N' ROLL

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Someone's in the kitchen with the Tragically Hip. Twice among the 14 songs on "Music @ Work" (the Canadian quintet's ninth album), the band uses the word "caramelized," the process in which heat intensifies a vegetable's natural sugars, creating not only a sweeter flavor but a gorgeous aroma. It is a delicious metaphor, and emblematic of the band's quirky lyrics, which, to the delight of its smallish-but-devoted following, often cover topics outside the rock mainstream and use words you'll practically never hear on the radio or anywhere else. In "The Bastard," the sun's rays are "crepuscular," for example. The problem is that it's not always clear what the boys are trying to say, such as in "Sharks," which begins, "Sharks don't attack the Irish/ it's mostly Australians . . . " Musically, "Music @ Work" continues along the band's guitar-driven path, slightly more adventurous but still honest rock 'n' roll.

The Tragically Hip performs at the Somerville Theatre tonight and tomorrow. Both shows are sold out.