Deb Talan

Lucky Girl

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AllMusic Review by

Lucky Girl is the first solo album in 13 years for Deb Talan, who during that time became better known as half of the Billboard-charting folk-pop duo the Weepies with her husband, Steve Tannen. It follows their 2015 release, Sirens, an album informed by and recorded during Talan's treatment for Stage Three breast cancer, as well as subsequent touring upon her recovery. A true personal effort, she wrote and recorded the songs on her own in the couple's home studio, playing every instrument herself. Seeming to reflect on her roles as an individual, partner, daughter, and especially mother ("Diamonds from coal/You from me"), it explores themes relating to the passage of time, growth, and identity, with lyrics like "You want a new tattoo/You want another you/Look in the mirror, see a stranger's eyes." With a brisk tempo and rapid-fire vocal delivery, "Growing Up" addresses motherhood unambiguously ("You're growing up/Don't grow away from me"), while music itself works into the settings of songs like "Joshua Tree in the Headphones" and "Son Volt Came to Town." With a few exceptions, arrangements are fleshed out beyond simple singer and guitar, with Talan often harmonizing alongside subtle washes of keyboards, string voices, and simple drums. It's an intimate work, though, and affecting, due to the subject matter but also thanks in no small part to the songwriter's way with wistful chords and sweet melodies.

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