Although Thomas Dolby wasn't all that consistent in the 1980s, he certainly deserves to be recognized as one of the decade's major risk-takers. The new wave/synth-pop artist wasn't afraid to experiment, and while his experiments didn't always work, many of them did. Released in 1999, this collection focuses on his EMI output spanning the years 1982-1988, painting a generally impressive picture of him. The CD's most famous track is Dolby's quirky 1982 smash "She Blinded Me With Science," but he is equally strong on material that ranges from the infectious new wave hit "Hyperactive!" and the jazz-influenced "The Key to Her Ferrari" (which British jazz singer Claire Martin interpreted in 1995) to the moody "The Ability to Swing," the eerie "Mulu the Rain Forest" and the humorous, Prince-influenced "Airhead." Less impressive but decent nonetheless are Dolby's version of George Clinton's "Hot Sauce" and the funk tune "May the Cube Be With You." For those seeking an introductory overview of Dolby's 1980s work, Hyperactive! would be a logical place to go.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson