Every few weeks, we plow into Rolling Stone magazine’s vaunted music-reviews section. But since the current issue is a year-end round-up–meaning they need to preserve feature-well space for skanky pictures of Pam Anderson–they didn’t leave a lot of room for reviews. So we’ll keep this brief.
The lead review is a smack-down of Gwen Stefani’s abysmal The Sweet Escape, written by Rob “Killers Be Killed” Sheffield. The write-up a complete dis–”it’s a fine line between hollaback-tacular and yodel-trocious”–yet it still receives two stars, even though everything about it screams “poor.” We’re guessing the magazine wants to make sure they can still get Gwen on the horn for a 15-minute phoner for next year’s 40th-anniversary issue (that issue, by the way, is not be confused with this year’s 1000th-issue issue, or the 35th anniversary issue, or the “Let’s remind everyone of the time Jann stole Hunter’s Wite-Out bottle in 1973″ issue).
Young Jeezy is compared to Tony Robbins (hmm, where have we heard that before?) (a Tony Robbins source points out that the Stone Jeezy review went to press Dec. 8th, while Pitchfork’s write-up ran Dec. 11th; we regret sacrificing fact-checking for a cheapshot gag); Dreamgirls-obsessed Peter Travers is thankfully prevented from reviewing the soundtrack; and Ghostface gets the three and a half stars he so deserves. A normal issue, save for all the references to some band called “the 109th Congress.”
Issue #: 1016/1017
Total number of reviews (excluding reissues): 7
Total number of three-star reviews: 2
Total percentage of reviews that are three-star reviews: 29 percent
Total number of P.O.W.s receiving favorable coverage (P.O.W. = pals of Wenner): None
Total number of instances in which famed critic Robert Christgau deems something sucky: 1 (On Eminem’s The Re-Up: “Of course it sucks,” pg. 114)
“You’ve Gotta Be Frickin’ Kidding Me”* Award For an Obscure Band That David Fricke Is Clearly Just Making Up:: Some guy named Andy Partridge, who just put out a nine-CD box-set. Have fun finding the crazed cultish fanbase that will shell out for that! (pg. 114)