2 1/2 stars (out of 5)
By the Nineties, Rush had all but abandoned their synthesizers for the Zeppelin-style riffs and prog-pop melodies of their Seventies albums. This one-CD (plus bonus DVD) anthology tracks the band as it drifts from the shimmery, grunge-flavored "Earthshine" to the acoustic-based "Nobody's Hero," a sweet, if clumsy, ode to a dead gay man and an abused woman — with occasional departures like the New Wave-ish "Roll the Bones." One thing that Rush never lost: the comic-book profundity of lyrics such as "They travel in the time of the prophets" ("Dreamline"). Unless you're a Rush loyalist or a member of Coheed and Cambria, you can safely skip Retrospective III.