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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winwood's best solo album
The 1986 album "Back in the High Life" may have sold more copies, but "Arc of a Diver" is Steve Winwood's best solo album. It contains the smash hit "While You See a Chance," and plenty of other smooth jazzy pop songs in the same mode. There is not a bad song in the mix, though the standouts are "Slowdown Sundown,"...
Published on September 5, 2000 by Brian D. Rubendall

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very interesting
The title says it all. Back in the High Life and Roll with It were vastly superior recordings with far better music.
Published 3 months ago by Dennis Brandt


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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winwood's best solo album, September 5, 2000
This review is from: Arc of a Diver (Audio CD)
The 1986 album "Back in the High Life" may have sold more copies, but "Arc of a Diver" is Steve Winwood's best solo album. It contains the smash hit "While You See a Chance," and plenty of other smooth jazzy pop songs in the same mode. There is not a bad song in the mix, though the standouts are "Slowdown Sundown," "Spanish Dancer," and "Dust." Though fans of Winwood's days with Traffic may lament the lack of adventurism on this album, those who love great songcraft will feel right at home.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Arc' is like a new suit it looks great and you know it!, January 23, 2004
By 
Terry in Oklahoma City (OKC, OK United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Arc of a Diver (Audio CD)
I have been listening to Arc of a Diver from Steve Winwood since 1980 and I absolutely love it. It is on my top 100 rock recordings of all time along with some of his other works. The reason I am giving this album 5 stars is because their are no weak songs on this album. The idea that he wrote and recorded this album at home and by himself playing all the instruments with a little help from his friends on the lyrics is incredible to me!
I have been listenig to Windwood for nearly 30 years through the Traffic and Blind Faith Period so I was very familiar with Winwood's Professional Career. 'ARC' is smooth as silk and is like putting on a new suit it feels good and you know you look good! Some of the reviews of this album are being far too critical and should just shut up and listen....this is a very enjoyable album from start to finish. Oh and while you have this CD playing you might consider Steely Dan's Aja up next! Go ahead and get another glass. Later
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sophomore effort for Winwood, May 8, 2005
This review is from: Arc of a Diver (Audio CD)
During my MTV days, Steve Winwood's big 80's splash with songs from Back In The High Life didn't go unnoticed by me. After discovering that album and Chronicles, I had the good fortune of someone loaning me her tape of Arc Of A Diver, which I copied. My interest in his second solo album was due to the upbeat "While You See A Chance." Winwood's sweeping organ-like synths open his first Top Ten solo hit-it reached #7 in 1981-along with the accompanying lively piano that gives it a radio-friendly beat, with some downright introspective lyrics on if one is truly free from the past and ready to take another road one blue morning with a gray wind blowing. I find myself enjoying this song more than "Higher Love."

The title track reached #48 on the singles chart, a slower midpaced affair. "Spanish Dancer" along the same languid lines, may be an example of what many called "lazy music" to describe Winwood's early solo stuff. This song was included on the Chronicles compilation made to cash in on the success of Back in The High Life.

I wonder why "Second-Hand Woman" wasn't a chart-topper, as it's a more lively affair with Winwood's trademark keyboards set to a disco beat. Some racy imagery is present with the title woman being "a slot machine to take my dime" but it is quite the danceable track. The same holds true for the near eight minute on-the-run opus "Night Train" with its funky beats mixed with guitars, particularly a solo around the six minute mark, and the usual keyboards. A single mix of this could've done well, but alas.

Two non-singles in particular strike me and both are slow songs. They are "Slowdown Sundown." A wistful ballad, calling wine that "glassful of memories" and something to soothe the balm of yesterday's pain. The tempo goes up during the bridge, which is a toast to whoever can understand this madness of life. The closing track "Dust" is the other song which also deals with memories one wants so bad to go away, in this case meaning time with a woman, yet how to deal with a love that's gone, but a friendship that still remains? Indeed, "a feather duster is no substitute for the real thing," meaning time, "the universal healer." That brings to mind the Dr. Who quote "the sands of time wash us all clean."

Mellow, but not "lazy music" as was described by some, Arc Of A Diver shows that Winwood still had some life in him following Traffic. Considering the turn-of-the-decade changes going on in the music scene, i.e. punk and new wave, it's fortunate that Arc found an audience. And Winwood played all the instruments on the album, much like Prince had done his own debut For You. Despite having only seven songs, Arc benefits from a consistent synth-keyboard style, upbeat dance tunes to reflective ballads.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Winwood Sees His Chance, November 12, 2004
This review is from: Arc of a Diver (Audio CD)
Steve Winwood's second solo album, 1980's "Arc Of A Diver," remains one of his most popular releases, and it is indeed an excellent album. Winwood produced it, co-wrote all the songs, and plays all of the instruments himself. And, of course, he sings with that marvelous Ray Charles-ish voice. The album is a keyboard-heavy platter of pop, and it's all good. The catchy "While You See A Chance" was a big #2 hit for Steve on the U.S. singles chart, but there are also other goodies including the atmospheric title song, the breezy "Second Hand Woman," the great grooves of "Spanish Dancer," and the up-tempo funk-pop of "Night Train" (featuring some fine electric guitar from Winwood). Steve also slows things down a bit for the cool mellowness of "Slowdown Sundown" and "Dust." "Arc Of A Diver" is a great Steve Winwood album.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars was and is still a pretty decent album., April 17, 2004
By 
David G. Wood (kelowna, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Arc of a Diver (Audio CD)
i listened to this album over and over again when i first bought it around 1980. i am a huge fan of traffic and basically anything to do with steve winwood. i hadn't heard it in years and just recently picked it up again . it may not be steves finest moment but it's still a good album. it does sound abit 80ish but that's not really a bad thing considering whats out there thats new...i'd never pay full price for it but given the chance to pick it up for 12bucks like i did well it's a worth while buy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great music from Winwood, September 2, 2009
I had this album when I was in high school, and it took me several years to get around to replacing it. Sound quality is great. Good stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Melodious and Mellow Follow-Up, March 31, 2006
This review is from: Arc of a Diver (Audio CD)
A friend once described this as "aural wallpaper", and he thought he was being kind. Well, I must really dig wallcoverings on my ears, then, because once this finds its way into my CD player, it's a few days before it comes back out again.

The follow-up to his eponymous first solo album is inspired by the work of three acclaimed lyricists: Will Jennings, George Fleming and Viv Stanshall. Getting back to the strictly one-man band vibe that is all at once looser and funkier than the preceding album, he constructs some great melodies around the ethereal (but at least understandable) lyrics. No, it's not a perfect effort, though it did yield his first megahit after his Spencer Davis Group-glory days, with "While You See A Chance." He would go on to produce more pop-chart friendly work with the multi-platinum "Back In The High Life." At the very least, ARC recalls the work of Gary Wright and Todd Rundgren, with a lot less emphasis on bombast or electronically-infused melodrama.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steve Winwood's Masterpiece, June 15, 2005
This review is from: Arc of a Diver (Audio CD)
ARC OF A DIVER is Steve Winwood's masterpiece. Many of the songs cut a lot deeper than their pop veneer would indicate on first listen, including, especially, the opening cut, "While You See A Chance", which tells people not to let opportunities pass them by, and the title track, which is about how hard connecting with others can be. Winwood's belief that the young Australian tourist jailed in Indonesia since 2005 for drug-smuggling was unjustly convicted makes even disco pap like "Second Hand Woman" and "Spanish Dancer" bearable, and results in ARC OF A DIVER being an essential purchase for both your ears AND your conscience.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sleeping Giant, July 31, 2005
This review is from: Arc of a Diver (Audio CD)
Steve Winwood with his best solo effort. Although Steve won his recognition on his next recording effort featuring "Back in the Highlife Again," in my opinion "Arc of a Diver" was his actual crowning achievement. Highlighting his hit "While You See a Chance" starting off the recording, then on to the title song "Arc of a Diver" (which is in itself an excelent song), through to the final song "Dust". I recomend this CD as a must for any classic collection of one of the greats in rock and roll.

Weldon Wood
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars opinion # 27,000, May 14, 2008
By 
This is a really good album if you're interested in Steve Winwood and want to experience his talent as a composer and musician. He plays every note and sings every melody. The album has a mellow tone but I've always felt he leans a bit towards sort of a jazz rock style. While it won't blow you away it's a nice solid piece addition to any music library.
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Arc of a Diver
Arc of a Diver by Steve Winwood (Audio CD - 1990)
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