Yesterday I bit. Yep, I bit for one of those news teasers posted on Yahoo. The headline read: “Maxim Apologizes for Review.” I just had to click on the story. A music critic apologizing for an album review? Are you kidding me? That’s like Bill O’Reilly pledging support for Barack Obama, or a New York Yankees fan applauding the Boston Red Sox’ World Series victory last October. A holier-than-thou-I-know-more-about-music-than-you critic actually conceded defeat. For real?
A music critic from Maxim magazine gave the Black Crowes’ forthcoming album Warpaint, a two-and-a-half star (out of five) review. So what’s the problem? Well, The Black Crowes didn’t release advance copies of Warpaint, so it would have been impossible for the reviewer to listen to the entire album. There’s a good chance they only listened to the single “Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution” (the only song off the album that has been released thus far). After being called out, the magazine claimed the review was “an educated guess.” Educated guess meet wardrobe malfunction!
Did we really need to go this far to figure out that music reviews aren’t set-in-stone tutorial guides for listening to an album? I understand the Black Crowes’ beef with Maxim. On one hand how can you be divvying out stars for albums when you haven’t even listened to the complete body of work? It also creates quite a slippery slope–if you can get away without listening to an album–hell–you can turn in movie reviews and concert critiques without even leaving your home. On the other hand, it’s pretty convenient that up until yesterday I didn’t even realize the Black Crowes were releasing a new album. Today, if you do an internet search for “Black Crowes” and “Maxim”, it’ll take you two seconds to figure out that Warpaint is dropping on Tuesday, March 4–hey wait a second–that’s next week! Famous painter Bob Ross would call all of this a “happy accident!”
Let’s get serious for a second. If you have a subscription to Maxim or find yourself thumbing through it in the grocery store, are you really going to head straight for the album review section? Hey Bob, Tapes ‘n Tapes just finished their new album, let’s check out Maxim to see how many stars it gets! It all reminds me of the old joke: “I heard you read Playboy for the articles.”
Trust me, seeing a music critic with egg on their face, makes me smile ear-to-ear. Anyone who thinks they can turn opinion into fact just as easy as Jesus turned water into wine, needs a little wake up call every now and then. But people, let’s not get our hot-pink panties in a bind here. For a media outlet that boasts a sex blog, along with weblinks titled “Hometown Hotties” and “Sexy Time”, do we really need to worry about an incomplete Black Crowes album review? When teenage boys have issues of Filter and Magnet magazine tucked under their mattress, then it’ll be time to start worrying.