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Review: The May 2008 issue of Maxim is bloated with advertisements, filled with mindless articles describing fake trends, and relies heavily on the same old soft-core celebrity porn.

Ten years ago (holy crap!) I wrote to Allmusic Guide because it was very clear that their review of the Corey Glover (singer from Living Colour) solo album Hymns was written without actually listening to it. The review says:

...his solo debut could have provided on opportunity to develop his musical identity, but he decides to pick up where Living Colour left off, turning out a set of hard rock that merges Van Halen with Rush.

This is, in fact, nonsense. The album was essentially a gritty R&B album, closer to a garage band version of Prince than Van Halen or Rush. I didn't like it, but it may have had an appeal to people interested in that type of music. (Allmusic never wrote back or updated the review.)

Today, Maxim is in trouble for something similar, but they got caught by someone bigger than 'ol fnord. They've been putting out reviews for albums that haven't been released yet (and no advanced copies were issued). Maxim's apology focuses on the fact that they gave the album 2.5 stars. They say that what they were actually doing was giving 'previews' for upcoming releases, not 'reviews', and that they accidentally put in stars, which isn't their normal policy for previews. But does this sound like a 'preview' to you:

"They sound pretty much like they always have: boozy, competent, and in slavish debt to the Stones, the Allmans, and the Faces."

That sounds to me like someone who has a preconceived notion of what the Black Crowes are going to sound like (and hell, it's probably accurate) and just decided to crank out a review. My guess is that this is a standard procedure and their only 'mistake' was putting out the review too soon.

Maxim also responded with this:

"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."

Oh.... Ok. Makes sense. Now that my head has exploded.

By fnord12 | February 28, 2008, 9:46 AM | Music