First, let me say that I am sick of all the people who are bashing Spin because "it's too mainstream" or "it's like MTV" or "it doesn't cover the bands I like". Stop your bitching and if you don't like Spin, go read something else. And no I'm no teeny-bopper or wannabe- I listen to music like Nirvana, Incubus, Pearl Jam, The Darkness, Jet, The Vines, etc. I'm no punk or metal-head, but I know good music and writing when I see them. That being said... on to the review.
I recently picked up a copy of Spin because of the Kurt Cobain cover. I figured "oh what the hell... it can't be that bad if Kurt is on the cover". I flipped through it, and read some of the articles. Most of them were pretty interesting, mainly the ones about Kurt. Then I flipped to the music reviews. Athough I had never heard of any of the CDs or bands they were reviewing, I found the reviews to be very interesting, well written, and funny. It even inspired me to buy some of the CDs. I was pretty pleased with Spin, so I've now decided to get a full subscription.
Overall, there were a bit too many ads, but I can deal with that. I found everything to be well written and informative (for the most part). This mag mainly caters to fans of Rock, but does have some hip-hop, rap and other various tidbits on other music styles thrown in as well. A very welcome surprise, and I'll be looking forward to seeing Spin in my mailbox next month!
Not very deep or insightful, but entertaining, none-the-less. Sure, it's a "rag" of sorts, but at the price it's worth it looking into. Reviews are terse capsules that sometimes try to hard to be "witty," but there is always a pretty good chunk of genuinely funny stuff inside and there are a few good writers.
The glossy photographs are generally nice and the main articles are pretty interesting and well-written in a sense, though they are pretty formulaic and usually pretty forgettable. If you're not too seasoned in rock lore, Spin can provide some interesting factoids, but most of the stuff they cover in their lists and special features in going to be common knowledge to seasoned listeners and fans.
Spin is not the place I would go to for up-to-date knowledge on what's going on in the world of innovative/interesting new music - they spend too much time covering sacred cows and flavors-of-the-month for that, but on the other hand they do a lot better than a lot of the peers (Rolling Stone, Uncut, the recently defunct Blender,) and Spin does a fairly good job of staying current and covering "relevant" trends. But of course, you don't go to magazines for that kind of thing anymore anyway - that's the blogosphere's domain now.
If you're between the ages of 15-22 chances are you''ll find it pretty appealing - maybe if you're a little bit older even because they still give a lot of coverage to Gen-X era bands, but it really caters to that particular demographic really well. I'm in that demographic, and even though I recognize Spin veers towards shallow-pop culture obsessed junk I still read it regularly. I guess you can take that as something similar to a recommendation.
If anything, it's a pleasant distraction to look at while you're on your morning commute.
I enjoy reading SPIN magazine, for its interesting articles about music, and also it helps inform me of new upcoming bands, as well as existing music that I should listen to. SPIN magazine is oriented towards the mainstream reader like myself, who want to read about bands that are in the mainstream, or just about to become popular. With a circulation of over 400,000 readers SPIN magazine is no longer a small indie magazine focusing on local bands, and counter-culture articles. I have noticed that some of the other reviewers are pretentious and look down upon those who do listen to mainstream music on the radio.
i can't believe people are bashing Spin for covering trendy bands. If any magazine should be bashed for such a thing, it should be Alternative Press, the typical myspace users' magazine. Spin does touch on "hot" bands, true, but they also cover not so popular bands that are worth listening to. Spin may not be the perfect music magazine, but i like it more than most of the other options. Especially being a girl, when i pick up a "music" magazine, i want to actually read about music, NOT look at pictures of half naked girls and hot rods thrown in the mix to pick up more viewers, that are totally irrelevant. Spin is easy to read, friendly, and not super snobbish, which is why i like it. Because honestly, if any super indie underground band was mentioned in a major magazine, they would get crap for it, and then the band wouldn't be so super indie secret cool. Spin is an enjoyable light magazine, more diverse than most mainstream music magazines. but if you're looking for an real independent take on music, then go pick up an indie zine.
I'm 19 and I think it's a really cool magazine. I feel like it's more for my generation. I would recommend it to anyone, it's not too lengthy, the last issue I got only had 80 pages, so my only complaint would be that it'm not long enough.
i have friends who constantly make fun of me for having a subscription to Spin. they, like many of the negative reviewers, claim that is biased, hypocritical, too mainstream, etc...
but then they are always asking to borrow it whenever there is an article or picture of an artist they like (which is almost every month) hmmm....
yes the magazine does tend to put horrid, mainstream, sellouts on the cover. but if you look inside the magazine you will find that there is a legion of decent writers and editors here who are truly trying to give some unknowns a chance at the big leagues.
The writers are damn funny. I love the caustic sense of homor. They don't really do anything truly revolutionary, but they entertain me about the kids I already know.
Hey, it beats rolling stone...
Every now and then Spin offers some high quality rock criticism. I, too, found it's 90 greatest albums of the '90s issue to be very good... yet so many of the artists they covered in that list go largely unnoticed in the magazine's regular issues, or end up buried beneath a lot of sub-par not music related articles and advertising.
If you are looking for a higher quality magazine of music criticism and rock journalism, I'd suggest seeking out some of the lower circulation, genre-specific magazines out there. Spin caters too much to evaluating pop trends and pushing bands that are already popular for my taste. If the subscription price is cheap enough and you just want something to browse, then go for it. But if you really want a quality music magazine, you'll have to look a little harder at your local bookstore, there are some out there.
From what I've seen Spin is supposed to be an alternative magazine, and I happen to like the Strokes, thanks very much. I haven't checked it out yet. Those of you who say you're metal fans, do you like alternative rock? If not, you shouldn't bawl out an alternative mag just because you like something else.
I think it's rather mean. Try constructive critizism, instead of "THIS MAG SUX TAKE IT BACK" or whatnot. Try to be intelligent, and people may benefit from your reviews.
...I think I'll try this magazine just to defy you people.
*This has been an angry lecture from a person with level views on being nice to other people so you don't start almighty rows with people you don't know. Thank you, and goodnight.*
Beyond and to all time I stand,
The SPIN, "Special Collectors' Issue" THE 90 GREATEST ALBUMS OF THE '90s, is very well written. The list of albums is intresting and seemed well thought out. The writing is exceptionally good (see the review of one of my favorites; Buena Vista Social Club).
Then I come to the 50 Greatest Bands and the list is pretty bad by anyones standard. So many "glitz" bands who were more glitz than music are in this list.
So its very hard for me to decide if SPIN is good magazine that has slipped or just a few bad publications out of many good ones.