Toby Keith’s sophomore effort is a concept album loosely designed around the fictional “boomtown” of the album’s title. In the title song, Keith describes a township bolstered by oil money, then abandoned: “Now the cafe's filled with people tellin' lies / Trying to figure out how the town went dry / You can buy a house a dime on the dollar / Need a good home just give me a holler / I can move you in with no money down / Still tryin' to make a dollar here livin' in a boomtown.” This backdrop allows Keith to explore the dreams and disappointments of a cast of blue collar Americans. “Big Ol’ Truck” and “Upstairs, Downstairs” show strong female protagonists, fueled by optimism and self-assurance. Regardless, the predominant motif of Boomtown is the desperate, often clandestine affairs into which the residents of this fictional community are pulled when their chips are down. “Who’s That Man,” “Victoria’s Secret” and “No Honor Among Thieves” portray a web of illicit relationships, all born of the unhappiness and desperation of the town’s denizens.

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