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Exploring the less well-known albums of Joni Mitchell
on 19 December 2002
Joni Mitchell's 13th album came at a time when her sales were dropping but her personal life was better than great! She married her bassist Larry Klein soon after this album was released towards the end of 1982, and Klein offers a major role in the music of 'Wild Things Run Fast'.
It is not her greatest album by any means, but attempted to win back fans who had left her when she became more experimental from 1975 onwards.
The music here is easily pop-rock, and has a distinct 80s sound. But that doesn't mean terrible synths, multitracked vocals etc. Mitchell does the '80s thing' with grace, and the music does not sound too dated at all. Her songs here are about love, with the catchy "Solid Love" an obvious reference to her relationship with Klein ("we've got this solid love").
Some songs have good melodies but you can tell they're pretty weak ("Underneath The Streetlight", "Wild Things Run Fast"), but they are not at all bad songs.
Probably the most stylish of these tunes is "Moon At The Window", a song that recalls her recent jazz endeavours with soprano sax in abundance. The song that rightfully gains the most attention is the opener, "Chinese Cafe - Unchained Melody", a strong song about the fast passage of time, with plenty of mentions of Carole King.
If you are only interested in the great works of Joni Mitchell, then you should try albums such as 'Blue', 'Hejira' and 'The Hissing of Summer Lawns' (just three of an astonishing number!), but if you want to explore the less well-known albums and Joni's often-missed 80s work, 'Wild Things Run Fast' is a great record for you. It's not bland, it's very rhythmic and unlike a lot of Joni's other albums, you can actually dance to the upbeat nature of the songs.
'Wild Things Run Fast' should be a lot more recognised than it actually is.