- Audio CD (19 Mar 1991)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Geffen Records
- ASIN: B000000OME
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | Vinyl | MP3 Download
|1. Chinese Cafe/Unchained Melody|
|2. Wild Things Run Fast|
|3. Ladies' Man|
|4. Moon At The Window|
|5. Solid Love|
|6. Be Cool|
|7. (You're So Square) Baby, I Don't Care|
|8. You Dream Flat Tires|
|9. Man To Man|
|10. Underneath The Streetlight|
This is by no means quintessential Joni. Nowhere in this album will you hear the vulnerable optimist who weaves complicated poetry, touching its peak with high notes. That's the Joni Mitchell of BLUE and LADIES OF THE CANYON. This is a different Joni on a different quest. And I make no apologies in being a die-hart Mitchell fan who enjoys this CD every chance she gets.
These are pop/soft-rock songs, all sung in Joni's lower register with a focus, as always, on lyrics. The songs are catchy. They're exactly the upbeat tempo I like to have in my car on the way to work, and they're smoothed out so nicely with a low-riding instrumentation that you can listen to them at the end of the day as well, kick off your shoes, and get into the mellow aspect of these poppy beats.
To me, this album is perfect when I'm in a certain mood. When I need something upbeat, poppy and with flow ... but I'm not in the mood to listen to bland, commercialized lyrics ... this is the perfect mix. I get my catchy songs - but with Joni-quality lyrics!
This is not an example of the folk-song artwork that made her famous. It's something completely different. But I'm not always in the mood for folk music! Sometimes I want to hear something more lively and groovy. So I'm glad Joni made an album for THAT too.
I have a friend who sings the "Be Cool" song on this album every time she gets in a fight with her long-term boyfriend. She said it keeps her from doing something stupid. Personally, I prefer the "Man to man" song because of the mellow beat and the articular lyrics.
You just can't dissuade true Joni Mitchell fans. We want her in all her forms!
"Wild Things Run Fast (WTRF)" is Joni's first record as a contemporary rock artiste....and while it's truly remarkable that she succeeded in reinventing herself musically to stay relevant after her bout of flirtation with jazz left her without a mainstream audience, the results of WTRF are decidedly mixed. Not surprisingly, she comes off best with music that recalls her 70s past and shows her natural development as an artiste and worst when she's at her most self conscious about displaying her new persona.
The gorgeously languid "Chinese Cafe/Unchained Melody", whose poignant lyrics recall her failure as a mother, is a perfect opener. But the mood doesn't last. The title track that follows is an "in-your-face" introduction to the new Joni. Fueled by heavy drums and a growling rock and roll lead guitar, "Wild Things Run Fast" jerks, stops and starts, recalling the power pop of new wave bands. An interesting if not altogether promising glimpse of what lies in store. Thankfully, the album reverts on the next four tracks to the Joni we all know and love. The scatty jazz inflected rhythms that underpin "Ladies Man", "Moon At The Window", "Be Cool" and the mildly reggaefied shuffle of "Solid Love" are all excellent and a natural extension of the Joni she left behind in the 70s. But the most outstanding cut on WTRF is undoubtedly "Man To Man", a beautiful song rivalling her career best compositions. Most of the rest are rock and roll experiments featuring Mike Landau's urgent lead guitar. Most of them are pedestrian or plain don't work. The worst offender is the truly dreadful "Underneath The Street Light", logging a career low for Joni. "You Dream Flat Tires" is at least commercial - it become a jam favourite at concerts. "You're So Square, Baby I Don't Care" is pure throwaway pop and is to Joni what "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" is to Diana Ross. The album however closes on a sublime note with the languid but meditative "Love".
"Wild Things Run Fast", representing the start of Joni's second phase career, is a qualified success. The highs are high enough for us to forgive the lows. Whichever your inclination, this is a "must" for serious fans.