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.
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AllMusic Review by Michael Ofjord