Any thoughtful adult who hears Leo Sawikin’s “The Same Mistakes” will relate to the song’s message. Many of us have, to a greater or lesser degree, experienced the phenomenon of repeating the mistakes of our past and even a single listen to this track will convince you that Sawikin has reflected on his own penchant for repeated failures. There’s great empathy, however, underpinning this song. We hear heartache, lessons learned, and understanding of how we fall into the traps depicted throughout “The Same Mistakes”.
You can hear the presiding inward-looking spirit of the song from its opening. It’s the music that sets the initial tone, the guitar conveying a relaxed yet introspective mood, and Sawikin’s singing puts the crowning touch on the cut’s demeanor. He doesn’t have a “classically beautiful” singing voice, and he’s no aspiring Pavarotti, but Sawikin’s emotive talents are substantial, and he has a well-developed sense of how to complement the song’s musical components. He gives varying emotional weight to virtually every line of the lyric and his choices reveal a canny singer who fully understands how to communicate the material.
The guitar work is magnificent. Moving from the understatement defining the playing during the song’s first half and middle into the fiery salvos of the song’s conclusion reflects a musical artist in complete command of his powers. He has a specific mission in mind with this song, a vision for the final result, and every choice he makes along the way delivers that goal. The drumming supplies ample nuance, as well, for the performance and has a lightly orchestrated feel as it follows the same path as the guitar work. It opts for tasteful nuance during the song’s first half before transitioning to a more powerful profile as it nears the conclusion.
His lyrics will attract a bevy of listeners. Sawikin resolutely resists any inclination to over-indulge his compositional powers and, instead, focuses on the song’s subject rather than attempting to impress listeners with his poetic fluency. He’s writing about a relatively uncommon subject for popular songs, people’s inclination toward self-destructive habits, and seeks to understand rather than condemn or judge. His tone will encourage listeners to identify with his personal experiences; Sawikin deftly closes the customary distance between the songwriter and the audience. He places us all on the same page and underlines our common humanity.
He doesn’t over-extend the song’s reach. Running less than four minutes, “The Same Mistakes” gives Sawikin just the right amount of canvas to develop his theme and flex his musical muscle. He’s a powerful performer who’s gaining traction with each new release and “The Same Mistakes” reflects a gathering of his gifts in undeniable ways. It’s an excellent introduction, without question, to his forthcoming release and those who put their faith in him based on his 2021 debut will have their patience rewarded. Newcomers will finish hearing this song for the first time eager to hear more. 2023 is shaping up to be a banner year for Leo Sawikin and you’ll be glad to share in its riches.