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Friday, October 17, 2008

CD Review: The Brilliant Mistakes - Distant Drumming

The Brilliant Mistakes - Distant Drumming
2008, Aunt Mimi's Records

New York City's The Brilliant Mistakes make music first and foremost for themselves. Their musical self-actualization has been a hit with fans for the past ten years because The Brilliant Mistakes have always chosen to be true to themselves first. The band has recorded at their own pace, toured at their own pace, taken breaks when their lives demanded, and yet has survived with a rabid if modest following. Their brand of frothy Americana is ripe with fat hooks, lush harmonies and enticing lyrics. The Brilliant Mistakes 3rd album, Distant Drumming is a fine example of music can speak to the human heart. Are you listening?

Applying Wildy's Theory, we can make some guesses about the quality of a project or band by the sort of folks who associate themselves with it. Distant Drumming was produced by Lincoln Schleifer (Levon Helm, Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs, etc.) at his home studio - Lincoln's Log Cabin. Guests include Mike Viola (The Candy Butchers); Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Paul Simon) and March Shulman (Suzanne Vega).

The Brilliant Mistakes have something special. There's an Eagles-like quality here that encompasses their smooth, gorgeous harmonies, strong melodic sense and ability to tell a story within a song. The Day I Found My Hands is an optimistic look at the world through the eyes of a child. The narrator retains that child-like outlook into adulthood. The Brilliant Mistakes found a way in three minutes and four seconds to memorialize probably the healthiest outlook a person could have in song. The song contrasts the worries of the world with distinct focus of a child who sees all of the wonder amongst the monstrous and mundane. This song is genius.

Monday Morning (Sky Above You) is a memorable melody against a pure Americana country-rock song. Monday Morning has significant commercial potential and sounds like it would play incredibly well. The Bossa Nova of Becoming displays how strong The Brilliant Mistakes are lyrically, as well. The Circle's Not Broken is a driving rock tune built on a walking bass line that will have your feet moving and your synapses firing.

Good Year For A Change may be the standout track here; A classic singer-songwriter rock tune that is reminiscent of some of Blue Rodeo's best material. The song reflects upon a relationship in decline in a most pragmatic fashion. Other highlights here include the lovely Water Falling Down, The Words, Time In The Night and Let's Pretend.

The Brilliant Mistakes are half right. Distant Drumming can't be called by any subjective or objective measure a mistake. Brilliant I'll agree with wholeheartedly. Distant Drumming is required listening. Bands like this don't come along every day.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about The Brilliant Mistakes at or Distant Drumming will be available October 7, 2008 on Aunt Mimi’s Records. You can pre-order the CD through, who have the release date listed as 7/29/08 in error.

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