AMG REVIEW: 1982's Pathos starts out slowly, with a stretch of songs that sound a little too similar, but once it picks up steam, it's one of R. Stevie Moore's most enjoyably quirky outings of the early '80s. It's certainly wide-ranging, jumping from a found-sound description of how cassettes and four-track recorders were going to jump-start the DIY home recording revolution (which turned out to be true) to "My Name Is John," a tape of some child babbling and singing songs off the top of his head into a cassette recorder, to which Moore added musical backing, to "Keep Busy," an entirely credible early white-guy rap. The highlight is "I Thought I Loved You," a lengthy instrumental featuring a mandolin-like lead guitar part and some nearly inaudible, ghostly vocals. The CD version of Pathos is paired with Pioneer Paramus, a selection of songs, mostly instrumentals, in a variety of styles recorded around the same time. As always, Moore writes some of the most interesting instrumentals around; there's a fascinatingly sparse dub-style exploration called "Song For Mother" on Pathos; but too many of these sound like sketches waiting for a vocal melody and some beefed-up instrumentation. The main exception is one of the few vocal tracks, the incantatory "Customers," which sounds like a cross-breeding experiment between David Byrne and the Residents.
–Stewart Mason, All Music Guide