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Wild Things Run Fast Print-ready version

by Jim Hohman
The Pitt News
December 3, 1982
Original article: PDF

Wild Things Run Fast is a logical next step in the long career of Joni Mitchell. It combines the rich rock/pop sounds of her mid ‘70s LPs with the jazzy sound of her later ones. It is the fitting mixture of the many styles of a woman who has been in the music business for almost two decades.

Side 1 opens with “Chines Café (Unchained Melody),” a beautiful song presenting a shocking realization of time gone by. Mitchell blows it with the next two tracks—the title song and “Ladies Man”—one a laughable attempt at rocking out, the other a trite, “Oh baby, do what you want with me as long as you fuck me!” mellow jazz tune. She redeems herself with “Moon at the Window,” an introspective ballad, and “Solid Love”—get this!—a happy song. “Hot dog, darling!” Mitchell cries with joy at discovering a romance with some hope in it.

Side 2 is much better and more consistent. On “Be Cool” and “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care,” Mitchell lets herself do some uninhibited jazz crooning and just has fun. The best uptempo song on the album, “You Dream Flat Tires,” combines some solid Mitchell guitar playing with her old and faithful standby—the overdubbed choir of her voice. Finishing up Wild Things Run Fast are “Underneath the Streetlight,” the happiest, most positive song Mitchell every (sic) wrote, and “Love,” her declaration of faith in the emotion that has been the subject of so many of her songs.

Wild Things Run Fast is no great album, but it is a good one and a convincing sellout when one remembers that just three years ago, Joni Mitchell was criticizing rock and pop for being too simple, thus her attraction to jazz. What would have made this album a classic would have been the removal of a few tracks on side 1 and the addition of a few songs where Joni Mitchell just sits at the piano or plays her guitar and sings.

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Added to Library on July 30, 2022. (619)

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