It has been said that music is the common denominator between people. Singer-songwriter Terry Radigan knows this to be a fact, sharing her story of loss in the new album "The Breakdown Of A Breakup."
The disc is a collection of emotionally charged songs about the end of a twenty-year relationship for the singer. Ranging from hurt and despair to bitterness and resentment, the album comes from a personal place, says Radigan, who has enjoyed cuts by artists such as Trisha Yearwood and Patty Loveless. But, she wasn't sure she wanted to open that door to the world -- until she received some encouragement from a friend.
"I was doing some writing with David Barratt, who produced the record. He was asking what I was up to, and what I was doing. He had been hearing some of the songs that I had been writing, and said that with what I had gone through, I should put together my own record," she told Billboard.
It was an idea she hadn't contemplated before. "The thought of a theme record never really occurred to me. I never wanted to make something and make it sound like I was trying to tell the story by just putting songs together. But, after a couple of visits with him, he would listen to the songs and say 'Here's what tells the story to me, and here's where I think it drops away, and where you need to fill in that storyline with a few songs.' As soon as I started to look at it that way, then I saw the arc of it. It wasn't so much talking about my marriage, as it was the aftermath."
She says putting together an album of songs like "Not Giving Up on Love," "The Truth" and the dramatic "Beautiful Lie" was therapeutic for her. "Looking back, it felt great to do it, though it didn't at the time. I was writing just so I could get the emotions out. It was almost like taking a splinter out of your foot, and feeling such a relief. Each of the songs just brought out a conversation I was having with myself emotionally."
One of the most rewarding aspects of releasing the album was hearing the comments of those that have went through similar situations. "When you're going through it, everyone is unique. When an intimate relationship that you had with another person goes away, I don't think you can help but feel so alone. You're cut off from that person that you're closest to. To get it out and play it live, and have someone come up to you and say "That's my life," it's comforting to know that some things are universal no matter how alone you feel in them. It just makes the world smaller."
People who know Radigan might be surprised of the personal nature of the material on the album, however. "I've written songs that people knew for sure about me or something I've went through. By the time the record came out, I was three years further down the road from that. I had good friends who called me up and said 'You never shared any of this me, and you weren't fine every time you said you were.' It was a way of opening myself up, and that was amazing. I'm glad I did it because it was a deeper window into me. I also lost that notion that you have to be fine all the time because nobody is. Then, you open the doors for people to love. I would do it all again."