In grand pop tradition, the Spencer Davis Group’s follow-up to “Keep On Running” simply throws a few switches on that song. The lean R’n’B backbeat remains, and Steve Winwood’s vocal is just as assured and commited. The main difference is in tone – “Keep On Running” was a chase song, its blood was up, its urgency infectious. Whereas in “Somebody Help Me” Winwood is vulnerable, a loser in love. The music responds to this – the pensive guitar lines fuzz and meander more, the beat seems nude and more tentative without its triumphant handclaps. The effect, unfortunately, is to make “Somebody Help Me” feel like a follow-up, like a band casting insecurely around for something else to do.

Score: 5

[Logged in users can award their own score]