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Claudia Nygaard

Lucky Girl – 2019 ( Self-released)

Reviewed by Jim Hynes

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CDs by Claudia Nygaard

Veteran singer-songwriter Claudia Nygaard is fearless. The lyrics in her songs will cause double takes. Her rawness and honesty cut much deeper than most.

Nygaard is a storyteller who would just as soon make you cry, scream or laugh as her subjects range from personal trauma, sexual encounters, nostalgia, humorous moments and social consciousness. On the title track, she writes of her single grandmother with these ending lines - "Washing other people's floors, causes she was so damn poor that's what you do/When you've got kids, and all they 've got is you." She sings of I-should-have-known-better heartbreak in "Like a Moth to a Flame" and "Oklahoma." She harbors the secret of underaged rape in "Me Too." She often says in song what many of us would be reluctant to admit in conversation - "leaning on your headstone, pissing on your grave."

"The Codependent's National Anthem" is one of the highly memorable tunes with its enduring chorus - "It ain't your drinkin' problem, it's mine/I'm the one who's cryin' all the time." "I Wonder" ponders the future of a daughter she gave up for adoption. She speaks to unbridled passion in "Ol' Buick," comparing the love affair to the 'ol Buick crashing into an Oldsmobile. She revs up the passion even more in "Tumbling Down" where the couple get so heated, they skip their dinner reservation. "A Little Bit Embarrassed" has the memorable phrase "The night we made love in a rainstorm/When we could have gone inside."

Look a bit harder, and you'll find humor too. After she runs through a litany in "What I Don't Like About You" she cleverly answers by saying what she doesn't like, she loves. She refers to temporary fixes as Band-aids saying we need stitches to fix our lives in "Stitches."

"Lucky Girl' was produced by noted Nashville producer Neilson Hubbard who assembled some of the city's best including Kris Donegan on electric guitars and Eamon McLaughlin on fiddle for these Nygaard originals with authentic country to rootsy Americana, never stealing the focus from her lyrics.

Mostly this is an adult view of love affairs, the good ones and the horrible ones. It's one huge adult dose, somehow delivered beautifully.