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Friday, July 27, 2007

Uncut Magazine - Pretty Pictures but the Music Reviews? Handsome Furs gets Panned.

Had to laugh last night - flipping through the pages of the newer issues of Uncut magazine. I pick this British music magazine up for a couple of reasons - the monthly compact disc supplied is generally good, the profile and interviews are generally informative and there are usually a few good unexpected tidbits. I do NOT read Uncut for the reviews. They are generally ridiculously inflated. The vast majority of artists earn four stars. This is a silly way to sell magazines if you want to maintain your credibility. Case in point: The front of the album touts, "172 Album Reviews." Another problem: they sometimes miss newer albums and only revisit those artists and their new records when the group gets popular and they have egg on their face. So they miss a band like Tapes 'N Tapes and then rate "The Loon" months and months later and give it a big write-up and a great rating. (Boy, that's sticking your neck out...)

So - I usually skip the album review section altogether, but something last night made me decide to flip through. And the comedy ensued. The ratings are slightly better overall (fewer four out of five star ratings) - but the magazine still can't get it right. The ratings crackdown struck down one of the best new albums of the year. Uncut gave the Handsome Furs "Plague Park" album an absurd two out of five stars! - Uncut reviewer Stephen Trousse writes (in the July magazine)... "Overall the record had the pleasantly hobbyish but inessential air of a gap year vanity project." Ridiculous. Plague Park is most certainly is one of the best records released in 2007 and is one of my album of the year candidates with less than half a year to go. Way to go Uncut. Keep trying!

Alexei Perry and Dan Broeckner:
The brilliant Handsome Furs

Way to go Uncut Magazine - Just 2 of 5 stars??


1 comment:

Charbarred said...

Uncut has been very inconsistent with their reviews this year.
It seems like someone told them to appeal more to NME readers and the result is either favorable reviews for crap bands like The Kaiser Chiefs or great reviews for old timers you never heard of (by their older writers).