The Red House Painters are a group that have been lauded by many and unheard of by most. It's a shame because, as with artists such as Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake, they have a way of making everyone feel exactly what they were feeling when the songs were recorded. The first disc is compiled as an "introduction" to the world of the Red House Painters, and it does just that, covering everything from their cover of Ace Frehley's "Shock Me" to the sublime meloncholy of "Grace Cathedral Park". It is a worthy sampler, and a must have for anyone contemplating the further world of RHP. The Second disc is an array of demos, unreleased songs and live tracks. While under normal circumstances this is usually a put off to listeners not familiar with the band's ouvre, in RHP's case, it is another great taster of the different styles of their music. Also, since a few of the songs (Shock Me, Mistress)appear on the first CD in completed form, it is an interesting way to hear and understand the original idea of the songs. Retrospective is the perfect introduction to the world of Red House Painters, once the sheer volume of material is overlooked.