Lisa Dawn Miller,
Fly Away
(independent, 2005)

Lisa Dawn Miller spent the first part of her professional life as an investment counselor, working her way up to first vice president of investments at Morgan Stanley before deciding to go into the family business; her father is songwriter Frank Miller who wrote, among others, "For Once in My Life," "Heaven Help Us All" and "Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday." Her mother is also a songwriter and musician.

Turning her back on the investment world, Miller entered the cabaret and nightclub singer world. Fly Away is her first album and, from the way it sounds, she won't have to go back to managing investments. Miller has a good voice and can get to the heart of a lyric.

On the basis of the singing, her album is fine. An album, however, requires more than singing. For the most part, Fly Away offers it. The song balance is sound; she offers a blend of new material and a few classics, from the cabaret staple "My Buddy" to her father's composition, "For Once in My Life." The arrangements also are good; there is a tasteful use of orchestration and an imaginative use of strings. When you listen, you hear interesting things going on in the background.

The problem, though, is that too often Miller's voice is placed far back in the mix when it ought to be out front. Her singing is the gold and, rather than enhancing it, the production undercuts it. Miller produced the album and, although she came up with a solid piece of work, with a different, contrasting intelligence working to enhance her own, she might have had a classic.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Michael Scott Cain

8 March 2008

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