Rolling Stone - No. 986, p.923 stars out of 5
- "Bacharach brings together deceptively light jazz, contemporary chill-out grooves and his own jet-setter sophistication...."
JazzTimes - p.99
"[H]e's content to demonstrate that he's lost not his authority, or imagination, by pulling quintuple duty as songwriter, arranger, conductor, pianist and producer."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.983 stars out of 5
- "The tunes remain inviting but elusive, the strings utterly sumptuous."
Personnel: Burt Bacharach (vocals, flugelhorn, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, keyboards, synthesizer, Oberheim synthesizer); Burt Bacharach; Rufus Wainwright, Sally Stevens, Elvis Costello (vocals); Joel Derouin, Charlie Bisharat (violin); Evan Wilson (viola); Dan Higgins (clarinet, saxophone, alto saxophone); Earl Dumler (oboe); Gary Grant, John Daversa, Warren Luening (trumpet, flugelhorn); Jim Cox (piano, keyboards); Billy Childs (Wurlitzer piano); Billy Childs Trio (Wurlitzer organ); Ted Perlman (synthesizer, programming); Rob Shrock (synthesizer); Mike Elizondo (bass instrument, bass programming); Terry Christiansen (double bass); Neil Stubenhaus (electric bass); John "J.R." Robinson (drums); Daniel Greco , Daniel Chase, Michael Fisher (percussion); Denaun Porter (bass programming, loops); John Pagano, Josie James, Donna Taylor (vocals); Grant Geissman (guitar); Vinnie Colaiuta (drums); Paulinho Da Costa (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Allen Sides ; Alan Yoshida.
Recording information: Avatar Studio, New York, NY; Ocean Way Recording, Hollywood, CA; Owlspace, London, England; Record One Studios, Sherman Oaks, CA.
Arranger: Burt Bacharach.
Everything from the dressed-down cover art (Burt Bacharach in sweat pants?) to the collaborations that power the music within (beats and bass loops by Dr. Dre?) indicate that AT THIS TIME is a radical departure for the king of suave, easy-listening pop. "Please Explain," the loungy, trip-hop-inflected opener, with its combination of electronic programming, cool Fender Rhodes, and synthesized instrumentation, sets the tone for the album. The second track, the jazz-drenched "Where Did It Go?" continues the vibe with its string-sweetened groove and saxophone solos, not to mention Bacharach's own strangely moving, half-spoken confessional verses.
Yet Bacharach's trademark handiwork is everywhere, from the charming tenderness of his music and lyrics, to the polish of his arrangements, to the sophistication and expressiveness of his performances. Additionally, AT THIS TIME has striking themes that move beyond Bacharach's usual domain of romance to question politics, war, and the nature of time. Appearances by Elvis Costello ("Who Are These People"), Rufus Wainwright ("Go Ask Shakespeare"), and Dr. Dre ("Danger") help make AT THIS TIME a varied, engaging listen, and prove that Bacharach, far from resting on his laurels, is pushing himself in new directions.