Wild! was released in 1989 and ended up being another number one album home to several successful UK singles. Produced by Gareth Jones, Mark Saunders and the band, this release contains some of Erasure's finest songs, but also some of their least popular. The album opens with Piano Song - Instrumental which is a pointless track - it's even too short to be used for karaoke. Clearly an album filler, which is a shame. Blue Savannah gets the album properly under way; a wonderfully diverse song, produced and performed to perfection. Let down by an atrocious video, this single still did well in the UK charts and rightfully so. As too did Drama!, a largely unconventional Erasure number, which builds up from the low-key introduction to an explosion of a climax as the song concludes. Andy's vocals of the line "your shame is never ending" are somewhat overdrawn and over sung, but this is the only downer in this fine Erasure song.
Erasure sidestepped slightly on Wild!, with slightly mixed results. On the one hand, the by-now-established Erasure song formula resulted in a number of tunes sounding like revamps of earlier numbers...On the other hand, Erasure tries stretching its most since the orchestrated rerecordings on The Two-Ring Circus, often with great success. Wild! is a mixed but still worthy affair.AllMusic Guide
How Many Times? is a nice soothing slowy, one of the band's most beautiful. Andy's singing is gorgeous and understated and whilst the track isn't ground breaking, it is still a fine song. The tempo rises once more for Star, another song with the stigma of an awful video to accompany it as a single. The jungle style beat and undeniable catchiness of this track makes it a song of great enjoyment. The verse lyrics condemn the actions of the bible preachers who claim you can buy your way in heaven (which are rife on American religious television), with the chorus lyrics apparently warning of the perils of a nuclear war. With the fine melody and performance, this is a marvellous musical experience.
La Gloria follows which is a largely unpopular song with fans. I enjoy the flamenco feel to the song, aided by Spanish guitars and maracas clapping their way through this novelty song. Certainly not a track too be taken too seriously, but one that is harshly much-maligned in my view. You Surround Me is another melodious ballad, but one that offers little to excite. A single it may have been, but by no means an Erasure song of outstanding merit. Brother And Sister is another dancey Wild! track, where Andy puts in a sterling performance, particularly as the song begins to draw to a close. Fitting of being a single, the chorus is extremely contagious and enjoyable, making this an undeniable album highlight.
The bizarre 2000 Miles follows and although the sentiment of needing to be far away from a bitching partner is clear the verses are full of some weak nursery rhyme style concepts. The production is characterless adding to the negative vibes emulating from this particular song. Crown Of Thorns leaves the silliness of 2000 Miles behind with a deep and meaningful assessment of the historical cruelty of mankind. A sombre if depressing song this is a resolute attempt to show a more serious side to Erasure's song writing. Piano Song concludes the album. A simplistic but very effective solo piano compliments Andy's downcast lyrics, concluding the album in satisfactory style.
The album's mixture of slow numbers and up-tempo dance floor attempts don't really fit snugly. With no real re-occurring thematic style the album does not real flow as a whole, but it still home to some top Erasure songs. By no means an album to overlook, Wild! is a noteworthy enough but will never be regarded as a classic Erasure release.
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