Thursday, May 6, 2010

David + David Boomtown 1986

1986- tough times for music. The mid-eighties were filled with synth-driven, drum-machine inspired drivel. David + David was the only record released by the duo of David Baerwald and David Ricketts, two LA studio musicians, writers, and singers that teamed up for this swell entry.

The sound is a little BoDeans, a little Springsteen, a little U2, a little singer-songwriter flavor, and a little Steely Dan. The high-gloss eighties sound creeps in on a few cuts, but the record is otherwise an amalgam of big guitar arena rock with great Regan-era malaise deep into both the feel and and the lyrics. Welcome To The Boomtown opens the record and was a moderate hit. The album went platinum on the strength of that single and the follow-up Swallowed By The Cracks. But the entire record sounds like Springsteen decided to write his own Hotel California.

The lyrics deal with urban angst about as well as any record. The love songs, if I can call them that, are pained vignettes of dysfunction. None more so than Being Alone Together. The rest are telescopically focused anthems- songs that take a tiny slice of ordinary and blow it up into a representation of a grander theme. And they do it so very well.

The two Davids play all of the instruments except for the drumming, but it doesn't sound like that kind of record. It sounds very much like a mature band, already with their first stadium tour behind them.

Baerwald went on to record a series of solo records from 1990 - 2002 and has done quite a bit of soundtrack work. Both Ricketts and Baerwald were involved with the Tuesday Night Music Club that helped put Sheryl Crow on the map.

For a "band" that had only one record, it is a remarkable feat.

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