Ostensibly a music magazine, Blender is really more a somewhat music-based pop culture rag. You’ll get your share of record reviews and interviews as they copy much of the look/format of England’s far superior Q magazine, but there’s a distinctly American spazziness that makes this an unpredictable, light, and usually enjoyable read.

This issue’s strong points:

  • Actually putting a musical artist on your cover instead of a pop culture brat or another list is an achievement these days for any music mag with the state of the industry. The fact that it’s Kiedis instead of whoever has an album coming out in a month or two is just icing on the cake. Nice story to boot.
  • Good, long article on The Shins.
  • Lots of interesting smaller bits in the first third of the mag.

This issue’s weak points:

  • The reviews section is just too predictable with too many questionable nods. 3.5 stars for the new Lil’ Scrappy album? Please.
  • James Brown article – while noble – is perfunctory. They would’ve been better off doing a piece covering the craziness of his last days and the odd legal battles surrounding him.
  • Kinda uneven issue.

Overall: 6.5 out of 10

2. LIFE – FEB ’07

they went ahead and dropped the "Movieline" from the masthead, and so now they can truly own up to being the celebrity rag they’ve been wanting to be for sometime.

This issue’s strong points:

  • It’s recyclable?
  • The Kate Winslet interview is substantial, if not particularly revealing.

This issue’s weak points:

  • Even if "Hollywood Style" is your thing, there’s no real focus here as they shift from focus on eateries to interior decorating to older Hollywood scenes. It’s just a hot mess of a mag.
  • Oh, and you can see fashion coverage done better pretty much anywhere else.
  • How much longer can this shite go on being published?

Overall: 2.0 out of 10


Much like Complex or Interview, this mag aspires to be all things pop culture. It’s big on pictures, and, occasionally, you’ll get some decent reading from it.

This issue’s strong points:

  • Short, but entertaining piece on Fall Out Boy. Not really a fan, but they’re as they’re pop culture products, they’re a good fit for this mag’s focus.
  • Thandie Newton is still hot.
  • I actually kinda like their recurring "Future Giants" feature on up and coming pop culture peeps. Nice, quick onepagers I can enjoy or ignore just as easily.
  • In fact, I like a lot of the quick, interesting stuff in the front of the mag.

This issue’s weak points:

  • Whoever did the photography for the cover shoot needs to learn that cameras can do things other than ZOOM. Why do I need a cover and four pages of Jennifer Hudson’s pores? The interview is blah, too.
  • Young Jeezy is not interesting. Ever.
  • If the features here were half as good as the rest of the mag, it’d be a winner. Alas…

Overall: 5.0 out of 10