Al Jarreau finally found success in the U.S. after 1975's We Got By. The later albums that followed ,like 1977's live Look to the Rainbow and 1978's All Fly Home found him attaining the all-important cult status and accolades from the jazz community. Those facts made his switch to pop/R&B on This Time even more surprising. For This Time, Jarreau is paired with producer Jay Graydon. Despite his jazz credentials, This Time does prove that this style is where Jarreau truly prospers. The jittery "Never Give It Up" and the melodic and pensive "Gimme What You Got" have a crisp and refined L.A. sound, and Jarreau gives the songs weight with his methodical yet playful vocals. In the same vein, the poignantly sung and arranged "Your Sweet Love" displays Jarreau's gift of ringing emotion where you'd least expect it. Jarreau also adds deft lyrics to jazz standards "(A Rhyme) This Time" and "(I Can Recall) Spain." The best song to bridge the gap between the two incarnations, "Alonzo," is strikingly beautiful and has Jarreau nearly reaching operatic heights. During its release, This Time was stunning for its fresh sound and a sense of warmth. Upon repeated plays, those attributes still ring true.
AllMusic Review by Jason Elias