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Done with Mirrors

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★★★½☆
(86 Reviews)

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Japanese only SHM-CD (Super High Material CD – playable on all CD players) pressing. Universal. 2008.Proof positive that the Toxic Twins should never be apart, Done with Mirrors was Aerosmith’s first album since Joe Perry returned to the band in 1985. Though it didn’t garner as much commercial success as did the follow-up Permanent Vacation, this album is in many ways truer to the heart of what Aerosmith was in their 1970s heyday. From the opening drive of ”Let the Music Do the Talking” (which reuses that great riff from 1977’s ”Draw the Line”), to the strong grooves of ”The Reason a Dog” and ”Gypsy Boots,” to the rockin’ shuffle of ”The Hop,” Done with Mirrors is full of strong moments. The two best tracks on the album, though, show Aerosmith heading back to their roots: the swampy rock of ”She’s On Fire” and the jive-to-drive of ”Darkness,” both of which have the raw, bluesy base of the band’s best material. If nothing else, Done with Mirrors indicated that Aerosmith may have been down, but they definitely weren’t out of the running yet–something that Permanent Vacation would prove two years later. –Genevieve Williams

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  • I grew up in Boston and it was like the second coming when they launched the reunion tour that preceeded this album. I remember being 14 and lining up to get a copy on the release date, but no one in the store could find it – the original cover was printed backwards without the familiar Aerosmith logo,(not the smartest move for a comeback album) eventually we figured it out and headed home to many listenings. (the original LP also didn’t include the song “Darkness” – one of the best on the disc.) I feel its one of their best albums. The production was the only problem, I always felt it sounded unfinished, like a demo – without real punch (which is odd for Ted Templeman). But the rawness added to the reality of the songs. Every one of which was great. From Let the Music do the Talking, through Gypsy, Sheila, The Reason a Dog, up to Darkness it just felt great. Also of note is that it’s the last album on which they wrote the songs by themselves. Something they should get back to. If Aerosmith should be anything its raw, swaggering bluesey riff & roll, with a touch of mystery, and thats all in abundance on this album.

    Posted on December 9, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Even though I’ve heard critics and fans alike slam this 1985 comeback lp of the original line-up of Aerosmith,it will always have special meaning to me.Remember that video for “Let The Music Do The Talking”?Good thing I was forewarned about it.In the video,three fans sneak a super 8 movie camera into the concert,managing to film some decent footage of the band’s performance.Then a fat guard catches them and chases them out the back door of the venue.The three drop the film off to a hippie working the late night shift at the Fotomat.Later,they’re shown hanging out with the band watching the home movie.Two years before ‘Done…’ came out,I myself attended an Aerosmith gig and managed to take a roll of super 8 film of the show.I had another person in the crowd warn me that a security guard had spotted me.I then moved to a different spot and removed my coat I had on.He never found me after that.That incident just might’ve influenced the video.Think about it.About the CD,I’ve always considered “Let The Music…”,”My Fist Your Face”,”Shela”(actually hung out with two,not one but two girls named Shela around this time),”Shame On You” and “She’s On Fire” to be prime Aerosmith material.Just because this lp didn’t sell very good doesn’t mean it isn’t any good.It’s great!Old school hard rock.

    Posted on December 9, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I know music is subjective, but I just don’t understand the negative (one star and such) reviews of this album by so-called Aerosmith “fans” – especially those that don’t even own a copy of “Rocks” for Pete’s sake! Well, I guess if you prefer slick, polished, MTV-pandering bubblegum pop metal to real, loose, raw rock and roll, this album isn’t for you…but neither is rock and roll in general. Go listen to Britney Spears or some dang thing.From “Let The Music Do The Talking” to “Darkness” (overplayed?? WHERE????), this album has an overall consistent raw sound that has not been surpassed since. Contrary to other reviews, I believe the band sounds like they’re having a ball here. Like they’re garage-jamming as if music was going to be outlawed forever. And that, my friends, is how rock and roll OUGHT to sound!

    Posted on December 9, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Original lead guitarist Joe Perry re-joined Aerosmith in 1985, and this album marked the beginning of their hugely succesful late-eighties comeback. It didn’t get nearly as much attention as “Pump” or even “Permanent Vacation”, partly because it lacks the obvious pop hit, I suppose, but it is actually a very solid hard rock record, perhaps Aerosmith’s best since “Rocks”.The production is excellent, the riffs are big and dirty, the arrangements lean and mean, and “Mirrors” opens with one of Aerosmith’s best songs of the 80s, the high-energy “Let The Music Do The Talking”.Other highlights include the funky, mid-tempo swagger of “Shame On You”, the wonderfully titled groove of “The Reason A Dog”, and the gritty, riff-driven two-guitar onslaught of “My Fist Your Face”, a superb slice of melodic hard rock. And yes, Steven Tyler’s lyrics are immature and chauvenistic…although it’s not nearly as bad as some of these reviewers will have you believe. But if you’re going to take that kind of stuff seriously, you have no business listening to Aerosmith in the first place. Better stick with the Osmonds.

    Posted on December 9, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Before Aerosmith let wimps write thier songs and produce thier records(and tell them which songs should be singles).They actually did attempt a comeback of furious perportions.Full of guts and glory”Done with mirrors”is the last pull out all the stops/guitar driven rock disc from the band.I find myself nowadays sayin’”Is Joe Perry still in this band?”On more recent releases I have to strain just to hear him>Not here.The guitar riffs dominate the procedings.The subject matter in the lyrics are rock and roll,fire women,bar brawling,and carrying yourself like a bad man!No sappy love ballads on this one.I love this record so much that when I recently met Joe Perry.It was this disc I had him sign.(See the photo at http://www.markfloresmusic.com click photos).So if you still got a problem with authority,can handle a good time,and aint afraid of yo’ mama….get into this one.ggggrrRRRRr

    Posted on December 9, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now