Retrospectacle (EMI) is a look back at the best of Thomas Dolby, a man who always resisted taking the charts by storm, but put out the odd interesting single, and went on to produce some good stuff for Prefab Sprout. Eclectic is the best way to sum up Dolby's style. He started out by exploiting the synth-pop market of the early '80s and matured into a musician who was, and still is, unafraid to explore all kinds of arrangement and instrumentation. Dolby's forte is hiscontrol over the studio recording environment. Hyperactive! and She Blinded Me With Science are beautifully produced pop songs which use all sorts of sound sources without ever becoming cluttered. Dolby can also pen clever and understated ballads. Screen Kiss is delicate and moving; I Scare Myself sparse and jazzy. Dolby can even do justice to rock. That's Eddie Van Halen on Close But No Cigar. Much better than expected. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Blonde and Beyond (Chrysalis), a collection of Blondie rarities, or at least that's how it's billed. There are rarities on this album, but also many songs that have been heard many times before. Let's face it, Heart Of Glass is not exactly obscure; neither are Denis nor Picture This. Where the lesser-known stuff is included, it sounds under-produced and it is perfectly clear why Blondie's record company didn't want the tracks widely distributed. Their version of Bang A Gong (Get It On) live is a terrible disappointment and the band's rendition of Bowie's Heroes is only of interest because Robert Fripp joins the band to add his trademark screaming guitar. So the French version of Denis is included, so the Spanish version of Call Me is, too. So what? A let down. I Love You is a pretty bad name for a band, but they have made up for this by putting out a pretty hot album. The band eschews the use of synthesisers, relying on jangling guitars, bass, the gritty vocals of Chris Palmer, Tom Sweet's busy drums and a great deal of inventive songwriting. Like Jellyfish, I Love You pay undisguised homage to the West Coast pop of the early '70s. These are musically complex tunes which manage to sound disarmingly simple because of the charming banality of their choruses. But don't be fooled, there are all sorts of bright things going on in the rhythms and chords which back up those choruses. Particularly good are Want Something, Blood, Delilah's Razor and So You Don't Know Dick. The album is called All Of Us (Geffen) and is definitely worth buying. Jut as enjoyable, although musically entirely different, is Eleanor McEvoy's self-titled album. A folk-rock hybrid, Eleanor McEvoy (Geffen) blends her committed, efficient vocals and acoustic guitar work with drums, bass, electric guitar and the occasional fiddle. But don't be put off, this isn't music designed to appeal to the briar pipe and cable-knit jumper crowd; it has too much 'oomph' for that. McEvoy is fiercely, proudly Irish and her lyrics are typically pithy, poetic, yet never over-sentimental. Top tracks include Boundaries Of Your Mind, Leave Her Now, Not Quite Love and, for those who are more rock-oriented, Apologise. Great stuff.