1982's Trial and Error isn't as inconsistent as its name implies; while it's not one of R. Stevie Moore's finest albums, it's a better-than-average sampling of the pop-based but increasingly experimental work Moore was doing in the early '80s. Moving away from the new wave pop of the Clack! era into a more idiosyncratic blend of cool, bass-heavy, keyboard-led instrumentals (the best of which has an unfortunately pornographic title), angular shards of noisy experimental rock like "The Garbage State," the clattering synth rock "That Food Is Stale," the falsetto "Pin the Tail on the Donkey," and odd little experiments like the found-sound "Follow the Road," a tape of Moore improvising a song in the course of being driven to his apartment. More accessible than some of his albums from this period, Trial and Error has enough of interest, particularly in the consistently solid instrumentals, to be worthwhile.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason