Saturday, February 23, 2008

Maxim Magazine grades and pans the new Black Crowes without listening to the album


They can't be serious... Maxim magazine - every 14-year-old boy's best friend - a publication about bikini-clad models (the only slightly redeeming factor in the overseas versions is that they have a less puritanical presentation on nudity), lame practical jokes, and dream cars with shiny paint jobs - has actually reviewed a new album without even taking the time to listen to it. The victim in this case is Black Crowes - with "Warpaint," their first album in seven years, panned. The magazine gave the record (a definite comeback effort) a low 2.5 out of five stars rating (mediocre at best).

Unfair Practices?
Without even hearing the music . . .
the unreleased album was given 2.5 stars

Warpaint will be released on March 4th

When word reached Black Crowes manager Pete Angelus that there was a review of the unreleased album in the Maxim publication - even though no copies were sent to them for review... He was shocked.

"The writer, who has not heard the album since advance CDs were not made available, wrote what appears to be a disparaging assessment anyway, citing, `it hasn't left Chris Robinson and the gang much room for growth,'" said a statement on the band's official Web site.

After consulting, Angelus said the magazine explained that its review was an "educated guess."

"It speaks directly to the lack of the publication's credibility," Angelus said in a statement. "In my opinion, it's a disgrace to the arts, journalism, critics, the publication itself and the public. What's next? Maxim's concert reviews of shows they never attended, book reviews of books never read and film reviews of films never seen?" (Source: The AP)

The March issue of Maxim

Angeles and the Crowes claim that when confronted about the fake review and album rating, they were told that the Maxim review of "War Paint" was: "an educated guess preview."

All I can say is, "Huh?" Maxim magazine is offering a monthly music section to its readers (a selling point) and they pull this move? Not good for your credibility. The "don't need to listen to the album to give you your grade" technique by Maxim hurts them and it discredits sister music magazine "Blender" as well.

The Associated Press, Newsweek, MSNBC, and several news outlets are starting to get all over this story. The label might as well used one of it's aforementioned 14 year-old readers to write the album reviews. Now to be fair, Maxim hasn't confirmed or denied the claim that they told the Crowes that the "Warpaint" review was just "an educated guess" but you tell me - here's the actual review.... So vague and yet a grade is clearly provided to the album.

Ridiculous - the Proof in Print:

The low Maxim rating of the Crowes' "Warpaint"

Immediate Aftermath: Rolling Stone magazine online rushed their review of "Warpath" into the breach - possibly at the band or the label's request. They issued the album a most-impressive 4.5 out of 6 albums.

A personal favorite:
Black Crowes - The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
(covering The Band)

I look forward to the album.

Listen to the new material (streaming audio)


Charbarred said...

I personally think it's a good thing. The way I see things, if Maxim says an album is good then stir clear of it at all cost. Had it been Rolling Stone or some other more musically oriented publication then there would be a reason for concern. Really, they're as cheap as it gets, acknowledging their questionable techniques is beneath us.

Ekko said...

I'd probaly care if wasn't the BCs. To my ears, every single one of their songs sounds the same . . .

Anonymous said...

Of course the writer from Maxim reviewed the album, there are bootleg copies on bit torrent, he didn't want to admit that he was reviewing an illegal copy. duh.

Ryan of the RSL blog said...

Just to be clear, the writer definitely reviewed the album. He just never listened to it.

Sorry - that rationale you provided just doesn't jive with me. There is nothing wrong with the "reviewer" admitting that he listened to a bootlegged copy. Why do you think that would have been a problem?
(He would only be using a widely available source to fulfill his journalistic obligations. The use of the bootleg copy would not be a crime for Maxim.)

Further substantiating the fact the reviewer DID NOT actually listen to the music: there are no specifics relating to songs in the review.

The review was made entirely based upon the writer's preconception of the band and listening to just one officially pre-released track, "Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution."

Ryan of the RSL blog said...

Here's further confirmation of my previous comment: Maxim magazine "Sorry" for the fake review (The album reviewed after writer heard just one song)

A BBC story