Family Feelings (2009)
After two albums with critically acclaimed The Thousand Dollar Playboys and an equally successful solo debut, Lars Bygdén is used to praises. Nothing wrong with that. Constantly getting good reviews is no doubt good for the self-esteem. But it can also be a burden to live up to previous success.
That’s probably why the work with Lars’ second solo album was so strenuous. The songs didn’t come as easy as they used to, and he forced them through the quality filter that made his first album, “Trading Happiness for Songs”, so appreciated. The few songs that didn’t end up straight in the waste bin went from good to worthless in a matter of days. It was not a pleasant process, if anything it could be described as a period filled with anxiety. Lars had stopped believing in himself.
Late summer 2007 events take an unexpected turn. When Lars’ girlfriend undergoes a routine examination she’s diagnosed with cancer. A long period of anxiety begins. But in the midst of the crises Lars turns to his song writing – which in some ways becomes a tool for handling the despair.
Among songwriters and musicians, expressions like nerve, presence and honesty have become almost inflated. But when the reality forces itself into everyday life, they suddenly become highly relevant. For the first time in years Lars now made songs just for himself, without a thought about how they would be perceived by others. During this period he wrote the song “CT Scan”, which deals with the times of constant hospital visits and the feeling of powerlessness before the bureaucracy of the Swedish health care.
When relieving news that his girlfriend was out of danger finally came, the most self-revealing work Lars had ever made was almost finished. The songs together formed a document over the troublesome autumn and the darkest parts of Lars’ life. And now as the spring finally starts to spread some light over his life, Lars releases something as unusual as a concept album about the life on the dark side.
And for the first time in his life he’s completely satisfied with the outcome.