Dissidents (2009 Remastered Version)
Thomas Dolby's 1984 album stands as a stern rebuke to anyone writing him off as a one-hit wonder. Balancing electronics with generous swaths of piano, fretless bass and percussion, Dolby and his collaborators perfect an unusually economical fusion of progressive rock, ambient and jazz. Only seven songs long, the album covers more sonic and emotional terrain than most bands manage for a box set, but it never sprawls. The title track alone is worth the price of admission, as is a Latin cover of "I Scare Myself," as sumptuous as it is unlikely. The 2009 reissue includes remixes and live cuts.