Every week, we dig into the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine–and not just because we want to read Joss Stone talking shit about Nelly “Don’t Be Wearin’” Furtado. No, we love giving the Stone‘s infamous review section a good once-over, just to see how their nonsensically distributed multi-starred reviews are aligning.
Those of you who have been reading this feature since the beginning know that we originally set out to “expose” the magazine’s practice of giving every album a three-star review–no matter how execrable that album may be. Then we sorta veered away from that premise, since it seemed that Rolling Stone has begun printing somewhat negative reviews.
So we’re happy to report that as of issue #1015, the three-star system is back in full effect, as more than fifty percent of all reviews fall into RS‘ vague critical swampland of “Good.” And what is “good” this week? Incubus’ latest may be a “little scattered,” Snoop’s new record made “on autopilot,” but don’t look for write-ups and star counts to logically correspond in Rolling Stone–literally, it’s all good.
That said, we’ve got some deeper gripes with this latest batch of reviews: There’s no way that Kingdom Come deserves three-and-a-half stars (come on, Sheff-will you really be playing that in two months? Or even two weeks?). And reviewing that U2 best-of is just a waste of space–is there any Stone reader who’s actually going to need this album? Also: Why the hell does Rolling Stone have such an insane lag-time between when it shows up on a newsstand and when it arrives in our mailbox? At this point, it’s more out of date than the magazine’s blog. Zing!
Issue #: 1015
Total number of reviews (excluding reissues): 29
Total number of three-star reviews: 16
Total percentage of reviews that are three-star reviews: 55 percent
Total number of P.O.W.s receiving favorable coverage (P.O.W. = pals of Wenner): None, unless Akon and Jann are friends (this is possible).
Total number of pictures of eminently slappable Jack Johnson: 1 (pg. 123)
“You’ve Gotta Be Frickin’ With Us” Award For an Obscure Band That David Fricke Is Clearly Just Making Up:: “Original acid-country mystics” Mighty Baby (pg. 124)
Everybody’s A Wenner [archive]