Another album shelved by CBS and released by RPM in May 2005. Can You Hear Me is a big departure from Kid in a Big World , although it meshes beautifully with it. It is less idiosyncratic but undoubtedly an album written from the heart which is the great thing with John Howard. He personalises the songs. The lyrics are never trite and here the backgrounds have a more middle of the road feel to them.
Certainly it's not as immediate as Kid but John took a different direction by calling in Biddu to produce. Biddu is probably best known for the Carl Douglas hit Kung Fu Fighting. This is a million miles from that offering, however.
In some ways it is easy to see why CBS shelved the project. John Howard must have been seen as being many miles from a commercial proposition back in the 1970s. He is much too cultured for that and at the time will have suffered from the craft that has gone into these songs. They aren't immediate. You have to stick with them, but ultimately there's the same lush vocals, the same songwriting skills and a slightly different direction to enjoy which includes a cod falsetto disco song "I Can Breath Again."