Maxim magazine has been busted (pardon the vague pun) for printing reviews of CDs its writers haven't actually heard, according to the Music Industry News Network.
Maxim's review of the Black Crowes' latest album was done before advance copies of the CD were made available and would've been based on just one song. Says Mi2N:
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?
...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.'"
I've certainly heard of reviewers not listening to every song in its entirety (which is a good argument for killing meandering intros), but I've never heard of a reviewer not actually listening to the album at all.
Then again, I'm not sure that many people think of Maxim as their premiere source for music. At least I hope they don't.
Does anyone actually buy albums based on reviews, anyhow? The last four albums I bought (someone somewhere is wondering "what does this 'buying' and this 'album' word mean?") were based on recommendations from friends. I've certainly checked websites out based on Stylus reviews, but I can't say I've ever read a review in a magazine and thought, man I MUST buy that album because dude reviewer used the word "seminal."