For the past few months, we’ve been analyzing Rolling Stone‘s famed reviews section, wondering if our long-held conspiracy-theory query was true: Does every album in this damn magazine automatically get three stars? And after weeks of fuzzy math, we’re starting to wonder if Jann and his crew of Ralph Gleason wannabes are actually paying attention to us.
Don’t get us wrong: We’re pretty sure no one at RS reads Idolator (in fact, every time we look at the magazine’s blog, we wonder if anyone there can read, period). But issue #1012 has a suspiciously high number of three-and-a-half star reviews–nineof them, in fact; it’s almost as if they were intentionally trying to avoid falling into the triple-star rut. So take heed, Lindsey Buckingham, John Legend and Lady Sovereign: Not only are your names hard to say aloud when they’re strung together, but according to the Stone, the three of you all occupy the same vaulted metaphysical space between “Good” and “Excellent.”
Even more curious: RS has upped the number of negative reviews in these past few issues, and here they hand out disses to Diddy (2.5 stars, “flat voice and retro boasts”), the Kooks (2 stars, “a Brighton-accented version of the Spin Doctors”), and Congressman James Sensenbrenner (0 stars, “an ever-sweating, fat-fingered beast”). If it weren’t for that Tony Bennet rave, we’d think the magazine was having a semi-sane week.
Issue #: 1012
Total number of reviews (excluding reissues): 27
Total number of three-star reviews: 5
Total percentage of reviews that are three-star reviews: 19 percent
Total number of Idolator editors who know how to calculate percentages in their head: 0
Everybody’s A Wenner [archive]