The key to Steve Winwood's solo career is inconsistency; Refugees of the Heart was a letdown. The distinction between a great Winwood album and one that's only okay is dangerously small -- it has more to do with performance than composition -- and on Refugees of the Heart, as on Talking Back to the Night, Winwood was unable to invest Will Jennings' pedestrian lyrics with the soulful feeling of which he's capable. The album's standout is a collaboration with ex-Traffic partner Jim Capaldi, "One and Only Man," which topped Billboard's Album Rock Tracks chart. Perhaps noting this exception, Winwood next teamed with Capaldi in a 1994 reunion of Traffic.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann