REVIEW by Willard Manus

Miki Howard has done some fine things in the past--particularly on Miki Sings Billie Holiday--but her latest effort, MIKI HOWARD--THREE WISHES (Peak Records) left me underwhelmed. The passion and musicality are still there, but the songs on this CD, by the likes of Sam Sims/Darrell Smith, Barry J. Eastmond/Gordon Chambers/Phil Gelfstone, tend too much toward sameness and banality. The music behind the vocals about jilted women and "showing you what these lips are for" is equally uninspired: too tightly controlled and programmed. The CD offers typical studio work: technically proficient and effective, but lacking in soul and fire. Howard needs to break out of her cage and cut a live CD, one that will allow her to fly free and far.