20 Watts

Crowes Cry Foul on Maxim Magazine Review by 20watts
March 3, 2008, 11:55 pm
Filed under: Features, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Maxim’s David Peisner gave the Black Crowes’ upcoming album Warpaint a bad review. He went on to give it a rating of two-and-a-half out of five stars.
That’s all fine and dandy, and that’s what reviewers are supposed to do: praise the good, and condemn the bad. Just one little problem: Peisner couldn’t have possibly listened to the album because the Crowes’ record label never released copies for reviews!
When the Crowe’s manager called out Maxim for this error, Maxim stood by their review and called it “an educated guess preview.”

Now, the Crowes have a right to be livid because the album was unfairly judged and it may be the best thing they’ve produced since their genius multi-platinum debut “Shake Your Money Maker” back in 1990. In fact, Rolling Stone gave “Warpaint” four-and-a-half stars out of five (which I’m sure writer Alan Light actually listened to.)

But let’s be honest, had it not been for this whole fiasco, many wouldn’t even know that the Crowes are still recording. Today, Chris Robinson is recognized more as actress Kate Hudson’s ex-husband than as the lead singer of one of the best bands of the ’90s. So, as the saying goes, all press is good press, right?

Not exactly, because while the publicity surrounding Maxim’s review might actually generate sales for “Warpaint,” it will probably also hurt Maxim’s journalistic integrity.

All right, fair enough, Maxim isn’t exactly the beacon of prize-winning journalism, but this still affects the public’s perception of journalism. In fact, this isn’t the first time Maxim has done this “educated guess preview” review. Rapper Nas has come forward with his claim that Maxim prematurely reviewed his album, “N***er,” (which drops April 22, 2008) also giving it a dismal two-and-a-half stars out of five.

Though Nas has brushed it off, saying he’d prefer a review from Playboy, I don’t think readers will react so nonchalantly.

Readers still trust journalists to inform them but with slip-ups like this, journalists are losing all of their credibility, which is detrimental to an already flailing medium.

Maxim’s editorial director, James Kaminsky, has since apologized, but it seems to me that it’s too little, too late.

– Lissette
For even more juicy details, see Entertainment Weekly’s interview with Black Crowes’ manager Pete Angelus.
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