Following the commercial and critical success of The Innocents
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, diminishing the overall impact. "How Many Times?" is a ballad by numbers, while, some amusing bitchiness from Bell
aside, "2000 Miles" is nice but a timekiller. One or two other cuts fall into this category, making Wild!
something of a choppy affair at best. On the other hand, Erasure
tries stretching its most since the orchestrated rerecordings on The Two-Ring Circus
, often with great success. "Drama!" has a slightly hysterical tone to it, but its strong dancefloor surge and weirdly droning backing Bell
harmonies help make it another winner. The gangshout /vocals (background) are also a kick as well -- especially as they were provided in part, via an uncredited appearance, by the Jesus and Mary Chain
! "You Surround Me" is another flat-out winner -- it's another slow ballad, but with big, echoing backing that adds a sense of extra theatricality. Other strong numbers include the relatively low key pulse of "Blue Savannah," which sounds like a light motorik/Kraftwerk number given the appropriate Erasure
sparkle, and the charging "Brother and Sister," with a sharp synth hook and chorus. Beginning and ending with versions of "Piano Song," the latter letting Bell
get in some of his best singing, Wild!
is a mixed but still worthy affair.