Miki Howard, Miki Howard


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Miki Howard’s third consecutive hit solo album was eponymously titled, and with good reason. Though she’d always been a gifted vocalist, the singer sounded more daring and self-assured on this 1989 effort, which was produced by some of the greatest minds in the field of R&B music. Gerald Levert—who dueted with Howard on her previous album—produced and appeared on “I’ll Be Your Shoulder,” “Mister,” and “Just the Way You Want Me To,” three of the album’s best songs. Another funk legend—Cameo’s Larry Blackmon—oversaw “Who Ever Said It Was Love,” which pairs Howard’s serpentine vocals with a tough but hypnotic beat. The notion that this was Howard’s most up-to-date album was confirmed by a slew of innovative dance productions: “Love Me All Over,” “Ain’t Nuthin’ in the World,” and “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do”),” all of which flirted with the then-emergent sounds of house music and hip-hop. Thankfully, Howard was too talented to ever come off as trendy. Her authenticity shines through on the album’s biggest hit, “Love Under New Management,” which is at once a display of technical virtuosity and a timeless soul ballad.


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