Q (1/01, p.134) - 4 out of 5 stars - "...[A] fascinating record..."
Mojo (Publisher) (12/00, p.124) - "...One of the half-dozen best British pop albums of the early '80s..."
Originally planned as THE GREAT DOMINIONS a full year beforehand, The Teardrop Explodes' sophomore effort only saw light in 1981. By this point, the public's fascination with the band was already on the wane. Not for the last time in his career, Julian Cope was busy fashioning obscurity from a potentially winning position. Against the backdrop of a group falling apart--and his own increasingly acid-fuelled instability--Cope somehow dispatched a minor psychedelic pop classic.
WILDER is less densely layered than its predecessor KILIMANJARO, relying all too heavily on string synthesizers for texture and cute electronic rhythms in a stark overall picture. Why grumble though, when the Turtles-esque "Passionate Friend" and the plainly insane imagery of the brassy "Colours Fly Away" lead the way into more Cope-fried confectionery? The Teardrops' transformation from group to hired hands leaves Cope clutching shakily at the reins. His writing and his voice, though, have never been better--witness "The Fighting Takes Over" or "The Great Dominions." And, if prime influences are difficult to disguise, thank goodness the boy has a great record collection.