In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau gave Wild Animal a "C–" and compared the record to Vanity 6: "Where formerly she talked her way through bright, crisp, rocking high-end arrangements and kept the smut simple, here she "sings" verbose, amelodic fantasies rendered even duller by a dim, bassy mix. And anyone who dreamed that she'd liberated herself from pornographic role-playing should get a load of the electric dildos, come-stained frocks, and psychedelic sex slavery she flaunts as she strikes out on her own. " AllMusic editor Alex Henderson was somewhat more enthusiastic in a retrospective review, giving the album three out of five stars while writing, "Wild Animal is essentially an R&B album, but Vanity laces her R&B with big doses of rock and pop. Despite her obvious limitations as a vocalist, Wild Animal is a respectable solo debut. But the public refused to take Vanity seriously as a solo artist, and this album's unimpressive sales reflected that. "