Burt Bacharach - At This Time

The name and music of Burt Bacharach is as synomonous with the sixties that wing as those of the Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Dylan, Hendrix and The Motown Empire. Even the young curmudgeon that is Noel Gallagher has acknowledge Bacharach's greatness and he is not known for being a fan of many acts who are not Oasis.

Burt Bacharach, who is now 77yrs old, has been composing now for six decades mostly concerning affairs of the heart. This new album on which he has composed the songs with his current lyricist Tonio K, a rare outing under his own name has different concerns. In recent interviews Bacharach has talked of how despondent he is at the state of the world, even admitting that he supported the Iraq invasion but now feels that George W Bush and the rest lied for the reasons for going to war. Bacharach also now has a young family so he fears for their future as well.

It is not only the subject matter that is new territory. Bacharach has enlisted the hip hop star Dr Dre to provide drum and bass loops for several of the eleven tracks although they are unobtrusive on this lushly orchestrated album. Although he is angry at the moment, Bacharach gets his points across without sounding like Cradle Of Filth.

Other guest stars are Elvis Costello, who is one of three vocalists on "Who Are These People" which asks the question "who are these people that have been telling us lies? And how did these people get control of our lives? And who'll stop the violence cause it's out of control. Make them stop". Costello of course collaborated with Burt on the 1998 album "Painted From Memory". Current blue eyed boy, Rufus Wainwright, adds his forlorn vocal tones to "Go Ask Shakespeare". A big name from the smooth jazz world, Chris Botti, adds muted trumpet to two tracks, the instrumental "In Our Time" and the almost instrumental "Dreams", it's over two minutes before the lullaby like vocals sung by a female chorus.

Although the tone of the album is one of depression and despair the final track is the optimistic "Taking Aim", the lyrics "I know that things will never ever change. Thing will stay the same. But I know love is never far away, Always Taking Aim".

Derek McCann

Click here to leave your Burt Bacharach comments on the Message Board
(NB: The message board opens in a new window so please disable your pop-up blocker to view)