The '80s were R. Stevie Moore's period of greatest exposure, and he started the decade off in style with an album of songs that would eventually become some of his most famous tunes. Clack! is notable also for being Moore's very first professional studio sessions, recorded in an eight-track jingle studio (run by a gentleman named Tom Clack; hence the onomatopoeic album title) in midtown Manhattan in late 1979. The sonic difference between this album and Moore's homemade '70s tapes is astonishing; the new version of "Part of the Problem," originally recorded in 1978, is not only definitive, it's arguably Moore's all-time finest three and three-quarters minutes. More importantly, Clack! includes several other songs that would quickly become fan favorites, including a silly but surprisingly effective power pop rendition of the Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace" and the dark-edged new wave synth pop of "Bloody Knuckles," both of which garnered a fair amount of college radio airplay in the first half of the '80s. The jangly guitar rock of "Teen Routines" and "You Always Want What You Don't Have" accurately predicts the Hoboken sound that would sweep over Moore's adopted northern New Jersey home in the ensuing decade, and the stomping "Conflict of Interest" and the thrilling falsettos of "U.R. True" are both vintage new wave and prime R. Stevie Moore.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason