"...'All This Time' is an excellent example of what multimedia should be about. Sting fans the world over will love it, although there's little to interest a more general audience."
Personal Computer World
"...Sting appears to have been deeply involved in the making of this CD-ROM, and the result plays as an exuberant extension of his individual personality... In short, Sting engaged even this non-fan who thinks the performer has been going downhill ever since his megahit song 'Roxanne'."
"...This CD-ROM is a success because of the very same things that sometimes turn people away from Sting: he's not afraid to sound pretentious, and so he talks at length about many subjects that are usually considered only tangentially related to music. In the process, he makes 'All This Time' into more than a shrine devoted to himself. It is a thoughtful exploration of the relationship between life, death, love, and religion, all bound together under the umbrella of music. Call it synchronicity; it's his home territory, and nobody is better qualified to act as a tour guide."
"...Indeed, when Sting performs, 'All This Time' is a marvel, with most songs set against resplendent backdrops. There are 15 videos in all, plus a variety of archival television appearances, but the best moments come when Sting and guitarist Dominic Miller run through intimate acoustic versions of previously bloated material such as 'When We Dance'."
Orange County Register
'All This Time' is Sting's first foray into the world of multimedia, and is a visually stunning and interesting insight into Sting's life, music and interests. Please note that 'All This Time' has been designed specifically to work under the Windows '95 operating system so bear this in mind before purchasing. Windows '95 allows you to 'plug and play' so there are no complicated software loading procedures to follow.
'All This Time' is set in an eerie landscape of forbidding looking buildings near a bleak (north east?) windswept coast. There are two CD-ROM's - an 'east' disc and a 'west' disc - with each disc allowing you to explore different parts of the landscape. Also scattered throughout this ethereal world are ten tarot cards which you can collect on your travels, and which allow you to enter a secret room in which a surprise awaits.
The buildings contain a variety of rooms and hot objects that hold secrets and trigger various events, including a theatre where Sting talks about his acting roles and you where you can see a variety of his film and audio clips. In the pub, Sting talks about the people who have influenced him and his music, whilst in the background a television shows video clips. In the cathedral he describes his spiritual beliefs and demonstrates his yoga, whilst in the library we are introduced to the many books that have played a role in shaping his life, work and music. Other treats include Sting taking you on a guided tour of Newcastle which includes footage from the Buddle Arts Centre concert in 1991, and of Sting and band (with Kenny Kirkland) playing live in Sting's Lake House studio.
Sting also describes the circumstances that prompted him to write several songs, including 'All This Time', 'St Agnes and the Burning Train' and 'Fragile'. These insights, along with descriptions of how his songs develop and change are particularly fascinating. For example, his explanation of how 'Fortress Around Your Heart' was written provides an intriguing insight into the mind of a great songwriter. There are several new versions of well loved songs on 'All This Time', including Sting and Dominic Miller playing 'Fragile' and 'When We Dance', an acoustic version of 'Message In A Bottle', and a preview of 'I Was Brought To My Senses' from 'Mercury Falling'. Additionally, Sting's work with Amnesty International and the Rainforest Foundation is spotlighted.
'All This Time' is truly interactive, rewarding your inquisitiveness and persistence. The visuals look stunning, the music is great, and the intimate nature of Sting's narration is appealing. Altogether we spent about 8 or 9 hours exploring the disc before collecting all the tarot cards and (we think!) seeing most of the material on the disc. However, the disc is something that we would go back to again and again. The film and audio clips were interesting - we had never seen Sting's 'Three Steps To Heaven' performance from 'Radio On', and the courtroom scene from 'Quadrophenia' still raises a laugh.
A final word of warning for Police fans - Andy and Stewart are not mentioned (not even in the pub!) so don't buy this disc expecting Sting to reminisce about this period of his life. However, if you have a computer with Windows '95, are a fan of Sting's solo career, and want to see lots of new material and interviews, this release is a must. Lets hope that a 'North' and 'South' disc follow at some point!