Friday, November 11, 2005

On my turntable: Burt Bacharach - At This Time

Leo and I listened to this album several times yesterday. It's hard to believe that it's been over 25 years since Bacharach has released an all-new full-length project (his last was in 1979, I think). Released just this month, At This Time is a tremendous musical return to form for Bacharach. Lyrically the album boldly adresses the sorry state of affairs in our country and abroad. A definite standout is "Who Are These People" featuring Elvis Costello, which has particularly striking lyrics:

This stupid mess we're in just keeps getting worse
So many people dying needlessly
Looks like the liars may inherit the earth
Even pretending to pray
And getting away with it

Bacharach's use of horns and strings is so smooth, like mayonaise on Wonder bread. Only a handful of artists have an original sound that is so unmistakingly theirs, artists like The Beatles, The Ramones, Manilow, and Burt Bacharach. All of the classic sonic elements are on this album, plus a few new ones, such as beats from Dr. Dre which are used on a handful of tracks. Overall, this is a very classy and poignant album from the king of the swingers. The LP version features a different cover than the CD, plus an inner picture sleeve and custom labels.

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