So did you hear the one about how the Black Crowes have a new album coming out? Well, they do! That’s the joke. But actually, it gets even funnier, thank you Maxim. Now, we bet if we told you to close your eyes and predict what the new Crowes record would sound like, you wouldn’t have a hard time doing it. You liked the Crowes old stuff back when you were into bajas, so did we. So now, take a second to imagine the new album’s sound in your brain. And then come up with some descriptors. We’ll wait.
OK. So you probably said stuff like “classic” and “rockers,” that the guys liked to get fucked up, and that the music owes debts to the “Allmans” and “the Stones.” Well congratulations, you practically guesstimated Maxim’s review of the album! And you’re probably not even a professional music writer. In a two-and-a-half circle (stars were taken, we guess) review, the mag’s David Peisner says:
The Black Crowes – Warpaint
The Black Crowes already sounded like grizzled classic rockers on their 1990 debut. While it certainly was a neat trick for a bunch of wasted twenty-somethings to pull off, it hasn’t left Chris Robinson and the gang much room for growth. Now that they’re legitimately grizzled, they sound pretty much like they always have: boozy, competent, and in slavish debt to the Stones, the Allmans, and the Faces.
A fair review, maybe? Turns out the Crowes are super pissed about it. Not so much about the “slavish debt” thing, as much as the “there’s no way you could have even listened to our album yet so this entire review is based on bullshit” thing. Their response to Maxim after the jump.
MAXIM MAGAZINE REVIEWS ALBUM WITHOUT HEARING IT
How is it that a magazine can review an entire album–and assign a star rating to it–without actually hearing the album?
Case in point: the “review” of Warpaint–the new album by THE BLACK CROWES–in the March issue of Maxim magazine. 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.”
Incredulously, the magazine gave the album a two and a half star rating–although neither the writer nor the editor could have heard more than one song (the single “Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution”).
When approached for an explanation, the magazine described the review as “an educated guess preview.” Huh?
Black Crowes manager Pete Angelus says, “Maxim’s actions seem to completely lack journalistic integrity and intentionally mislead their readership. When confronted with the fact that they never heard the album they are claiming to ‘review’ in their music section–with a star rating, no less–they attempt to explain that it was an ‘educated guess.’ In an email correspondence, Maxim went on to state: ‘Of course, we always prefer to (sic) hearing music, but sometimes there are big albums that we don’t want to ignore that aren’t available to hear, which is what happened with the Crowes. It’s either an educated guess preview or no coverage at all, so in this case we chose the former.'”
Angelus continued, “It speaks directly to the lack of the publication’s credibility. 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?”
Yeah no needs to wait to hear an album, really. That shit just takes time. Better to write first, listen later. Stick it to ‘em, Black Crowes*, somebody had to take a stand against the fucked up journalistic ethics of Maxim. Goodbye, integrity! Never again will we take their word for the world’s 100 Hottest Pregnant Women seriously.
*Hey Crowes, here’s the bad news: There’s an outstanding chance that Maxim review will be better than those from outlets that actually, ya know, hear the record. That will be embarrassing. Just a heads up.