Done With Mirrors



by TheNovster USER (2 Reviews)
June 6th, 2009 | 8 replies

Release Date: 1985 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Though a haze of drugs and excess still followed the band, they found the drive to release Done With Mirrors after a lengthy period of breakup. DWM is an important Aerosmith record, and an overlooked gem.

After Joe Perry and Brad Whitford left Aerosmith, Steven Tyler, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer rambled along for a few years, releasing the lone album, Rock in a Hard Place. The monothilic, sleazy force that had once been Aerosmith looked tired and dried up, bloated by excess. Somehow, in 1984, the band got back together and played a series of gigs, eventually culminating in a full-fledged reunion. Done With Mirrors was recorded in 1985 and released later that year.

Done With Mirrors starts out with a bang with Let the Music Do The Talking, a track taken from Joe Perry's solo album and re-recorded with alternate lyrics. It's a fast, crude number with an infectious, rolling chorus. The band sounds revitalized, or at the very least, happy to be back together again. The trend continues with My Fist Your Face, a mid-tempo power-chord rocker with liberal doses of guitar noodling and a killer hook. Now, I'm not a stickler for quality lyrics, but I've got to say, for the most part, Steven Tyler's ramblings were completely incomprehesible to me on My Fist Your Face. One second it's underaged hookers, then Betty Boop, he even name-checks Back In the Saddle, and all of it in anchored by the delightfully beligerant chorus.

From then on things slow down a little. We're introduced to Shame On You, a slow, grooving rock song which recalls Led Zeppelin. It's got a terribly catchy riff which ties the whole ditty together, but besides that the song seems devoid of ideas, although Tyler's belting here is notably passionate. The Reason A Dog always strikes me as an odd track. It's hard to tell what kind of atmosphere the band was going for, but it's compelling, regardless. We move on through Shela, a pedal-riffed mid-tempo number, and Gypsy, a song that sounds as if it's trying too hard, and find ourselves at She's On Fire. The song feature's song great Joe Perry slide riffage, and very intense vocals from Tyler. A notably good number. The Hop is an upbeat song which recalls a night of madness with the boys in Aerosmith, and the closer, Darkness, is just that. A very swinging, ethereal closing number.

A lot of the songs feel like half finished ideas. Guitar solo's are often low in the mix, and many songs don't even have any distinct lead portions, There are a lot of great nuggets of Aerosmith gold buried beneath the tired exterior, and it's disappointing to think of what this album could have been Aerosmith not been wrangling it's own drug problems during the recording. They sound glad to be back together, but the mist hadn't cleared yet.

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June 7th 2009


Nice review. Aerosmith's not my bag

June 7th 2009


Boo. Aerosmith rule, good review

June 10th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, Aerosmith rocks! Done with Mirrors was good, and had some kickass songs, but like I said, lot of half-realized ideas that, had the band been clean and sober, could have crystallized into something great, and maybe kept them from going down this bogus mainstream pop-bullshit avenue they've been treading for so long.

November 16th 2011


I went into this album thinking it would be as bad as Rock in a Hard Place,
but was pleasantly surprised. It's main problem is that it was released too late. If this had come out after Rocks, it would have gotten more attention, but the band was in no condition to make songs like these then.

March 7th 2012


Very nice review, pos. Wonder why this hasn't gotten more discussion.

August 16th 2012


Album Rating: 2.5

Not their best but the line on The Reason a Dog always makes me laugh....'The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue'.

Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2013


Album Rating: 3.5

Well, it's better than "Rock in a hard place", that's for sure. With Joe Perry back in the band it was

inevitable that there would be songs as awesome as 'Let the music dot he talking', 'My fist your face'

and 'Shela'. Tyler's vocal range also makes him an outsnading performer here too, most notably for his

eccentic performance on 'She's on fire' and 'The hop'. I would have cut 'Shame on you' from the album

simply because it's repetitive, but that's really the only song that comes across like that. Some

people say this was the last great Aerosmith album before they "sold out". I beg to differ, but this

certainly showed that the band could still rock like they did in the early to mid 70s.

Digging: Serpent Of Gnosis - As I Drink from the Infinite Well of Inebriation

January 18th 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

Not only this is better than rock in a hard place but it's probably been one of their better records since rocks and everything that came out after this has been downhill in my opinion.

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