Boomtownby David + David
David + David's Boomtown is a hard look at urban life in the 1980s, a time when many were fulfilling the American Dream of financial success and upward mobility. It is not an easy album to listen to, as the characters depicted in the songs are often dealing with major problems such as drugs and domestic violence. But it is an artful record, full of poetry and convincing stories of the hard times that many silently endured. At times the record is full of pop hooks, and at other stages a more bleak sound dominates. The vocals of David + David are also effective in telling the tales, as often there is a shrill, despondent quality that complements what is being related to the listener. In particular, the drums have kind of a hushed sound to them, and the guitars often purvey sounds of doom through distortion or other means. "Welcome to the Boomtown" is the hit off the album, and is one of various cuts that convincingly detail the many trials of the characters such as Kevin, who "deals dope out of Denny's keeps a table in the back." Although there are often hints of hope and seemingly a sense of compassion toward the subjects in the songs, it is not apparent that most will eventually pull themselves out of their predicaments. One may not want to listen to this record to lift the spirit, but it is a strong reminder of difficult situations faced during what can be perceived by many as the best of times.
- Release Date:
- Fontana A&M
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This is, hands down, one of the finest song writing, performing and producing efforts in American pop music history. David Ricketts and David Baerwald deliver cutting lyrics with a grace, rythm and depth that is highly unusual for established artists, never mind a duo releasing their first (and only) album. "Boomtown" ranks right up there with Pink Floyd's "The Wall" in terms of narrative quality, and has a timeless quality that prevents this from ever getting stale. Buy it - you'll be well pleased you did.
David & David's sole collaboration is an island paradise in a sea of smaller talents who were riding the crest of the era's "New Wave". Rather than the typical pop fare that sings the praises of sex and partying, most of the tracks on this album are narrations of people who let their dreams slip away when they weren't paying attention; the not uncommon everyman who is disillusioned with the way things turned out. Stories like these in the hands of lesser artists would be much harder to listen to, but David & David's smooth compositions, impassioned style and incomparable vocals make this a very easy listen indeed. My personal favorites from the album are "A Rock for the Forgotten" and "Being Alone Together". Without question one the best pop/rock albums of its time, or any since.
My husband and I listened to this album on cassette in the 80's, then we lost it in a move. I was so excited to find it on cd so I can surprise my husband this Christmas. It is one of those albums you never tire of hearing, lyrics that pull at your heart, great beat and vocals. I would recommend it to anyone.
In a sentence: This album is one of the very best mainstream pop efforts to come out of the 80s. They never made another record together, but David & David's one and only album is simply incredible. Sophisticated yet gritty, and smooth musically yet lyrically tough as nails, it tells the story of life in the underworld of LA in the Reaganesque 1980s. Their songs may be straight outta 1986, but it doesn't sound a bit dated; the music on this album is as fresh today as it was then. It's rock, it's pop, it's even jazz like, with a dash of Latin percussion here, a little reggae spice there... a musical jambalaya of sounds. The music is supple and sublime, but somehow still burns itself into your brain long after you hear them. Despite the somewhat mellow tone of the music, the lyrics in places can actually out-rage fellow (latter day) LA rockers Rage Against The Machine. Bottom line: Get this record if you love American made music with real depth.
I lived in America in 1986 and heard ''Welcome to the boomtown'' on the radio one day. The song blew me away and I raced to buy the album. As an impoverished british student, I didn't buy many albums in the year i was there. This album became the soundtrack to my year in Illinois. It's a gritty, downbeat record but somehow it stays with you, it always has for me. I hear it, I think about 1986. I lent it to 2 friends who drove across America with this as their soundtrack too. They only made one album together...but what an album