David BaerwaldView in iTunes
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After the quick dissolution of David & David in the mid-'80s, David Baerwald began a solo career, releasing his solo debut, Bedtime Stories, in 1990. As with David & David's sole album, it was an album of deceptively laid-back pop; the calm production and subtle, memorable melodies hid the fact that Baerwald's characters were either inflicting or suffering from emotional pain. It was a triumph, winning raves from critics, but it sold very few copies. With his second album, 1993's Triage, Baerwald decided to have the music match the message, creating soundscapes that recalled a subdued, more pop-friendly Tom Waits. Again, the critical praise was substantial but the record sold even fewer copies than the first. A follow-up wouldn't be seen for nearly a decade, however; Baerwald took time out to work with other musicians and tweak his playing skills. He later guested on Sheryl Crow's monumental Tuesday Night Music Club debut, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Moulin Rouge's swan song, "Come What May." Finally, Baerwald bounced back with Here Comes the Folk Underground in 2002. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine