Q - 5/01, p.1374 stars out of 5
- "...Its skewed vignettes are more varied, but still hard to top for beauty, evil and jokes..."
The Wire - 5/01, p.68
"...There are jewels here....A little Smog does go a long way..."
Option - 7-8/95, p.138
"...On WILD LOVE, his first album recorded in a real studio, [Bill Callahan] drapes his lo-fi nuggets with thick layers of keyboard cheese, hearty cello scratches, and some guitar fuzz....His vulnerability is detailed enough to prevent it from becoming cliche."
Melody Maker - 12/23-30/95, pp.66-67Ranked #16
on Melody Maker's list of 1995's 'Albums Of The Year' - "The creme de la creme of American post-rock--quietly charismatic, unnervingly understated and supremely self-reflective, with its dinger still firmly on the pulse of pop..."
Smog: Bill Callahan (vocals, guitar, keyboards).
Additional personnel: Cynthia Dall (vocals, guitar); Jim O'Rourke (cello); Ian O'Hey (chamberlin); Ron Burns, Jason Dezember (drums).
Personnel: Bill Callahan (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Cynthia Dall (vocals, guitar); Jim O'Rourke (cello); Ron Burns (drums).
Arguably Bill Callahan's finest work, WILD LOVE is a highly satisfying mix of the Smog mastermind's later, more expansive, keyboard-oriented arrangements and his early, grittier sound. He hadn't yet gone whole-hog into lush production (no children's choir like the one on KNOCK KNOCK), but the moody, orchestral keyboard textures that flesh out the sound mark a major progression from bare-bones lo-fi efforts like JULIUS CAESAR and KICKING A COUPLE AROUND.
As usual, Callahan is unremittingly morose, but his genius is in his ability to transcend his angst via lush, elegant melodies and a strange air of untroubled transcendence. One of the key elements of Smog's work is defined to crystal clarity here--nostalgia for the idyllic, blissfully ignorant childhood Callahan probably never had. His is a vision of darkness tempered by a loner's stark resolution, and WILD LOVE is Callahan's most compelling account of a life on the emotional skids.