Is This The End Of Our Wenning Streak?

Mar 28th, 2007 // 9 Comments

Last fall, we took one slightly iffy theory–that Rolling Stone arbitrarily hands out three-star reviews, no matter the album’s merits–and proceeded to run it into the ground. At first, “Everybody’s A Wenner” was kind of fun: We picked through the magazine, dropped a few Mark Knopfler one-liners, and occasionally poked fun at “The Smoking Section.” During the past six months, there were moments when it seemed like we were actually getting our message across, and we could have sworn we saw an uptick in three-and-a-half and two-star reviews. But when we crunched (or “glanced at”) the hard data, it appears as though the magazine is running about the same percentage of three-starrers.

And so, as firm believers in both democracy and meritocracy–or “dermatocracy,” as it’s called by some–we now ask our loyal “Wenner” reader(s) to judge the franchise’s fate. Should we keep it around as a regular survey of each new Rolling Stone issue, or is it the idea of maintaining it less than Perfect?

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  1. Brian Raftery

    @DavidWatts: And weirdly, so far it looks like a vote that could actually come down to one vote! If it holds as such, you might be the tie-breaker.

  2. Chris Molanphy

    I’d discontinue it because the elusive three-star plague at RS is nowhere near as bad as the slutty streak of four-star reviews they were handing out like Halloween candy back in the early-to-mid ’90s. It was embarrassing. If anything, I think lately the Record Review page editors have shown a bit more sack by giving some albums that would’ve been anointed one- and two-star reviews – a true RS rarity five to 10 years ago.

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