Back in 1986, a duo recorded an album that has since become an unsung classic, unfortunate for those of us who found the album via their one hit song, “Welcome to the Boomtown,” in that the duo never recorded together again. And for that, there is a sense of deprivation that surrounds the album itself after having heard it even once.
The responsible duo, known simply as David + David, are David Ricketts (one-time boyfriend of Toni Childs), and David Baerwald. Their album, Welcome to the Boomtown, is an album of musical strength in a sea of lyrical depictions of weakness and broken dreams, of sought-after forgiveness in a wash of bleak lives and bad behaviors and unexpected decisions.
The opening title track, “Welcome to the Boomtown” is a story of two unfortunate inhabitants of a growing place of drug habits known as Boomtown, where you can “…pick a habit, we got plenty to go around.” “Swallowed by the Cracks” continues the spiraling away of people trapped by drugs, encased by an infectious and memorable pop arrangement. On “Ain’t So Easy,” the spectre of domestic violence is apparent with a deep sadness and yet a tinge of hope in the mix. But the emotion of the forgiveness seeker is so intense that you can feel the sincerity in the lost man. The music that accompanies all of these songs is perfectly tailored to the stories, however indicative of the 80s.
This is the magic and greatness of Welcome to the Boomtown. The wounds are unhealed but there is something going on in all of the songs. When you get music and lyrics to work together in such a depth of humanity, then you have something that touches people. Welcome to the Boomtown is that rarity. Highly recommended!!