Do You Actually Have to Listen to an Album to Review It?
Black Crowes attack Maxim after writer disparaged record without hearing it.
Maxim isn't exactly a bastion for journalistic integrity. Nor a bastion for music criticism. But according to the Black Crowes (you know, âTwice as Hard,â âJealous Again,â Kate Hudsonâs ex, beards) the magazine burned whatever credibility it had left by reviewing the bandâs upcoming album without actually listening to it.
According to a post on the Black Crowes official site, the Maxim writer, who âhas not heard the album since advance CDs were not made availableâwrote what appears to be a disparaging assessment anyway, citing âit hasnât left Chris Robinson and the gang much room for growth.ââ
Peter Angelus, the bandâs manager, said when confronted Maxim called the review an âeducated guessâ: ââOf course, we always prefer hearing music, but sometimes there are big albums that we donât want to ignore that arenât available to hear, which is what happened with the Crowes. Itâs either an educated guess preview or no coverage at all, so in this case we chose the former.ââ
Angelos added: âWhatâs nextâMaxim's concert reviews of shows they never attended, book reviews of books never read and film reviews of films never seen?â
Iâm awaiting word from Maximâs side of the story. But the incident does beg the question: Do you actually have to listen to an album (or read a book or watch a film) to review it?
UPDATE: An apology from Maxim editorial director Jim Kaminsky: "It is Maxim's editorial policy to assign star ratings only to those albums that have been heard in their entirety. Unfortunately, that policy was not followed in the March 2008 issue of our magazine and we apologize to our readers."
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