On Rachel Taylor Brown’s seventh release, World So Sweet, the Portland, Ore., songwriter-singer continues to look at the ugliness in beauty and the beauty in ugliness: the contradictions of the world around us. Brown’s 13 tracks offset often upbeat, danceable melodies with dark tales of child abuse, religious skepticism, the death of friends and surgical addiction.

Brown’s unpredictable arrangements range from an album opener, which utilizes 50 massed pianos, to sweet piano pop (the Kate Bush meets the Eels cut “Modesto Waltz”) and onto modest minimalism (“Scotland,” an eloquent elegy to a deceased colleague).

Juxtaposition furnishes potency to bouncy rock tune “Sister Jean,” a head-nodding grabber that hides lines about a real-life, teenage girl who died from parental abuse.

Impulsively energetic alt-rocker “Taxidermy” applies the scientific presentation of dead animals as a metaphor for people obsessed with plastic surgery. Irony and profanity laces strangely anthemic “Mercy in Nebraska,” about families who used the Safe Haven Law to abandon children to the government.

World So Sweet is currently available.