Every two weeks, we troll through Rolling Stone magazine’s boomer-lovin’ reviews section, hoping to prove our theory that the rag hands out three-star reviews with little or no discretion. And we’ll be damned if our campaign isn’t starting to have an effect: The last two issues have featured only five 3-star reviews each. That’s amazing! Or an amazing coincidence. Either way, we’ll take it. And to all the artists who came close to getting a three-star review, but were cut down to 2.5 stars because of our efforts–we’re talking to you, JoJo and Yusuf Islam!–our apologies.
But seriously, why do we care so much about this crap? Because the triple-symbol write-up has become the magazine’s way of saying, “We don’t know if this is downright terrible, and we don’t have time to listen to it see if it gets better on repeated listenings. It merely exists.” It’s meaningless–like getting a merit-badge for Achievement In The Field Of Progressive Mediocrity (for further proof, just look at the first three-starrer in this issue: Sting’s Songs From The Labyrinth). Can’t get more middling than that.
As for the rest of the section, Cold War Kids receive four stars, which will no doubt inflame more bloggy-blog back-and-forth; AARP faves The Who and Neil Young & Crazy Horse get the Jann-o-matic four-star treatment; and Bowling for Soup gets the big two-star slap-around. Otherwise, just a bunch easy-to-predict proclamations. In other words, a return to normalcy.
Issue #: 1013
Total number of reviews (excluding reissues): 25
Total number of three-star reviews: 5
Total percentage of reviews that are three-star reviews: 20 percent
Total number of Idolator editors who know how to calculate percentages in their head: 0
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