Burt Bacharach gets assistance from Elvis Costello, Rufus Wainwright and Dr. Dre on his first solo album since 1977, "At This Time."

Burt Bacharach gets assistance from Elvis Costello, Rufus Wainwright and Dr. Dre on his first solo album since 1977, "At This Time." Due this week via Columbia, the 11-track set finds the 77-year-old songwriter deviating from the love songs for which he is best known on tracks like the anti-violence ode "Who Are These People," which is sung by Costello.

"I had to express myself, not only musically but lyrically," Bacharach says. "It was time for me to ask, 'Who are these people who are taking control of our lives and how do we stop the violence?' I've got two little kids and a 19-year-old son and I wonder what they're going to do with their lives. It's so personal to me that I even decided to do some of the singing."

Wainwright takes the mic for "Go Ask Shakespeare," while trumpeter Chris Botti performs on and co-wrote "Dreams." And while Bacharach and Dr. Dre's planned more extensive collaboration never came to fruition, the rap pioneer wound up contributing drum loops to three cuts on "At This Time."

"I feel it is the most important album I have made and I am very proud of it," Bacharach says. "I'm pleased that Columbia is joining me in this journey, because these times require passion and emotion."

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