Yet with Wild Is Love, Nat tells the story many of us have heard a thousand times before and lived a thousand times more. The subject is a man’s search for love and romance. Taking into account all of the ramifications of such a journey, Cole’s songs venture from catastrophe, defeat, desire, and finally that perfect love. Of the aforementioned ideas, the lady in the red or maroon dress was probably a combination of the third and a smattering of inelegance. Still, it’s nice to glamorize things for the sake of a good story.
Beginning the album with a chorale introduction and closing it with a finale seems appropriate for something that feels aimed for Broadway or some other live stage. The recording does feel like a musical and yet, at the same time, it feels personal and relevant. My story becomes compatible with Nat’s story and the universality of Cole’s music is once again immediately perceptible.
Like life, there are phases to Wild Is Love.
The patio party might best be represented by the optimism and vigorous cheerfulness of the title track or “It’s A Beautiful Evening.” Reality sets in, however, and true love might prefer to “Tell Her in the Morning.”
Regardless of how the night might have gone, love can still be lost (“Are You Disenchanted?”) just as easily as it can be found (“Pick-Up”). At the same time, the awareness that there was always someone special waiting tolerantly might be enough to restore faith in the wildness of love (“Wouldn’t You Know”).
Suddenly all is well with the world and the red dress from the patio party doesn’t matter (neither does the ice cube) when my baby’s in my arms.
Love is wild. No question about it.