I've been reading R.S. for many years now as have many of the other reviewers posting their views here. I share many of their complaints as well as their praises. On the whole, most of what is good about the magazine is also bad. Let's look at a few different areas:
1. Liberal political, cultural and environmental reporting. I like to get input from all ends of the political spectrum. R.S. certainly has my left flank covered. Usually entertaining writing covering relevant issues. If you are looking for balance, forget it. Jann Wenner and Co. are unabashed liberals and that's really the only kind of "news that fits." I don't think that's good or bad, that's just this publication's point of view.
2. Music reviews and coverage: I learn a lot about various artists here first. That's good. Unfortunately, most of them suck. Don't get me started on the reviews. For every thoughtful look at a well established artist or new face with real chops, there's a 3 or 4 star gush for the thug, tart or punk of the week. Most of which will never be heard from again and for good reason. I'd appreciate a little more control over the rating system here. Maybe group the reviews by reviewer so we could get a better sense of who likes what. Still, imperfect as it is, R.S. does expose its readers to a great variety of music all in one place.
3. Pop culture: Yes, I'm sick of the breathless coverage of the moronic exploits of the pop culture icons of the day. I don't ever need to hear about or see Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Kevin Federline, Pete Doherty, or.... ever again. Yet, is it wrong to admit I enjoyed seeing Britney in her underwear? The movie and game reviews are always worth checking out.
Taken as a whole, I enjoy my subscription to Rolling Stone. I find interesting stuff in every issue. Try it for a year yourself. What's to lose? In a world full of more and more media, R.S. is still relevant and costs less per month than a single latte!
P.S. Dear Jann, Enough of the photos of pop stars flipping me the bird. It's not cool, it's not funny, it's just crass. 'nuff said.
Rolling Stone is a fabulous magazine that has become another victim of society. Driven to make money they focus more on what girl they can put on the cover nearly naked than advertising the talented. They rave about non main stream bands like The White Stripes, The Willowz, The Ponys, Beck, and Eels, yet give their covers to the likes of Jessica Alba. That is what makes it so dissappointing. The contents are great and well rounded, intelligent political articles on the libral side, in depth artist interveiws, the music reviews can usually be reliable but sometimes they seem like they dont know what they are talking about, and finally they have the only movie reviews you can trust. on the inside they tell their honest opinion, maistream, box office smash, or not. on the outside, cover and cover articles, they lack the cutting edge they used to be known for. they choose the visually attractive over the talented. it really is sad to see society slowly tear away at a formerly great magazine.
I found Rolling Stone to NOT live up to it's name. IT focused on bands that already get too much press. The few interesting bands these days that got ANY press, Strokes, White Stripes, etc... Were hidden away in little corners of the magazine. Only get this subscription if you're interested in the larger/SUPER current acts: Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, N*Sync, Eminem, etc... For that, it's great. If you want a step in the other direction, try SPIN. Other than that, you'll have to search locally.... ~Andy (I prefer SPIN.)
For a long time Rolling Stone has been one of the most popular magazines when it comes to music, politics, and popular culture in general. There's a lot of good things about it. For example, they often have some really great writers (I mean, this is the magazine that brought us Hunter S. Thompson). And then on the other hand, well, I don't know the most eloquent way to put this, but there's a lot of things about this magazine that kinda suck.
One of the things that's really weird about Rolling Stone is that you can't really tell who it's written for. It seems like they're trying to write the magazine for everybody, but it just ends up seeming like it was written for nobody. They do cover stories on a lot of tween garbage like High School Musical and Fall Out Boy and then there will be stuff about these old dinosaur bands. It seems like it's very rare that there's a cover story about something that's both new and good.
And speaking of older bands, the magazine pretty much worships them. That's fine in some ways, but they really overpraise the work of older musicians who are no longer doing anything musically interesting while ignoring a lot of great new stuff. The most popular example is when they gave three stars to Nirvana's Nevermind when it came out. And then they hilariously made a couple of additional reviews later on where they backpedal and gave it a higher score. They do that with their end of the year music lists too. "Oh woops, we gave that Of Montreal album three stars, but it's pretty popular so let's put it in our Top 50 of the year list." And those aren't the only two examples of that. From what I've seen, if Rolling Stone gives an album a three star rating, you should just assume that it's going to be awesome. And if they give an album a five star rating, you should just assume that it's by Bob Dylan.
Also, some of the praise given to really weak bands or bands that are really established makes me question the magazine. You have to wonder where the criticism stops and where the magazine just becomes a promotional tool.
Some of the political writing in here is pretty good. It skews heavily to the left and that might bother some people, but the writing is often very well done.
I've noticed that there's frequently these really kind of tabloid-y stories in here. That sounds bad, but the writers have a knack for keeping up with stories that read like they should be in the most awesome tabloid paper ever. For example, there was a story in here about an underage gay porn actor that was linked to the murder of his producer. There's often one story like this per issue and I really love that stuff.
Reviews for film and TV are usually a little more in touch with the present than their music reviews. They usually give praise to stuff that is actually good.
So yeah, there's a lot of problems with the magazine, but at the end of the day, you have a pretty decent amount of good reading material here for a very cheap price. On a scale of one to ten, I rate it "something to read on the toilet."
Sure would be nice if a publisher would not think it was ok to send out past issues as valid for a future subscription.
They sent me three issues from back to the beginning of April when it was already the end of April. How do they know I had not bought these issues on the newsstand?
I also wanted this subscription to be added onto the subscription I already had and they did not do that.
Rolling Stone isn't neccesarily my favorite magazine. In fact, it's FAR from it. It wouldn't be so bad if it never got into shallowness and trying to be cool. However, the essays and news sections are pretty cool. Each section has Birthdays, music CD reviews (with a minimum of one re-issue), movie reviews, and some issues and editorials. I love the one about the modern rock not being the same anymore. I think it should be more like that. But if you read, you'll notice how it has uncarable chart sections and "hipness" has been a factor in the past for that magazine. But alright for a wannabe musical journalist.
I've only gotten 2 issues so far, but I was very disappointed. I had a subscription a few years ago, and was happy to re-new. But this magazine isn't as good as it used to be. The longest article in both issues were politics related, while some people are interested in them, I do not read them. Other than the one long article, the rest of the magazine is mostly little tidbits and pictures, making it feel more like a tabloid. There's just not enough substance. I won't be re-newing my subscription.
It was nice to get my first copy, but within a week I had four copies sitting on the coffee table. Seems they start sending back copies every day or so.
I loved this magazine when I was a teen but I am 20 years older and our taste change with time or at least mine do!
I don't have much to say about this magazine. I haven't read much of it because I already have plenty of other material and work to read on subway trains and other means of mass transportation. That said, the little I have managed to read is okay. It's not spectacular, but I guess I'm not a pop culture guy.