I have heard many complaints recently about Spin’s Top 100 greatest guitarists of all time. I know that I was personally disappointed with Spin’s best of 2011 list. Music journalism is like a roulette wheel, where professional music listeners gamble on trends, often hedging their bets with a few surface level picks on an assortment of flavor of the moment bands.
If you were scour the pages of Spin, NME, or Rolling Stone would you find anything new of value? Perhaps, but more often than not these publication’s choices for best new music are quite puzzling. The problem is there are too many people these magazines need to please, too many different kind of rock and roll fans to service. So you end up with a kind of musical journalism for everyone, where no one in particular wins. Much like an election, these magazines produce the same mediocre results, year after year, for structural reasons that they cannot be expected to overcome.