Roll With It
Having achieved massive commercial and artistic success with the three-GRAMMY-strong Back In the High Life album, Winwood returned two years later with Roll With It, another solid collection of upbeat, ‘80s-derived, blue-eyed soul numbers that reflected the audacious and grandiose entertainment of the era. Though his musical context changed over the years — from the English R&B of the Spencer Davis Group to the folk-psychedelia of Traffic to the keyboard-and-horn big-beat of his ‘80s solo output — Winwood has always maintained a sweet empathy in his voice that allows for a seductive turn of phrase. His vocal prowess is in full effect throughout: the title track is one of his most successful anthems, while tracks such as “Holding On,” “Put on Your Dancing Shoes,“ and “Hearts on Fire“ keep the ‘80s-styled party motoring along. Ballad “The Morning Side” and the moody hit single “Don’t You Know What the Night Can Do?” flirt with swelling, atmospheric New Age vibes that lurk underneath the mechanical rhythms, whereas “One More Morning” and “Shining Song” close the album nearer to Winwood’s organic R&B roots.