The key to Steve Winwood's solo career is inconsistency. After he dashed the extravagant expectations built up by his group years with the disappointing debut album Steve Winwood, he came back with the stunning Arc Of A Diver. Then he disappointed again with Talking Back To The Night, only to come back strong again with Back In The High Life. With that track record, Roll With It should have been another flop, but it turned out to be a good followup. It was Refugees Of The Heart that was Winwood's next 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 on "One And Only Man," which topped Billboard's Album Rock Tracks chart, hit #9 on its Adult Contemporary chart, and peaked at #18 on the Hot 100. Perhaps noting this exception, Winwood next teamed with Capaldi in a 1994 reunion of Traffic.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann