Friday, September 25, 2015

What the pop papers say: Bloodless coup

Last week, the free NME made a semi-decent bid at suggesting there was a life ahead for the title.

This week? Not so much. You could probably just about get away with a Robert Pattinson cover, if you didn't feel the need to allude to Twilight on it. The NME does, so they don't.

There's also three pages on Jeremy Corbyn but it's not clear who it's aimed at - the information assumes so little background knowledge that it's presumably intended as a 'start here' guide, but why would anyone who hadn't bothered to discover that he's the new Labour leader by now give a shit? And who is this audience who need to have Corbyn's voting record detailed for them, but who will know who Tony Benn is? After a summer where young people have been more engaged with politics - and Labour politics at that - this suggestion the kids need a primer is embarrassing at best.

There's a really confused sidebar, too - the "punkest politicians of all time". It includes Berlusconi, calling his dodgy behaviour as being "in the punkest fashion possible". Apparently either the all-new NME doesn't know much about the fraudulent, sexist Italian politician, or it doesn't know much about punk.

They also include Cromwell, but don't manage to squeeze in the whole being the only non-Royal head of state. It also describes him as "extremely unpleasant", which suggests the NME doesn't like punk. (Their inclusion of Andy Burnham reiterates this.)

There are a full four album reviews this week, which is something. But there's only one music feature - Rudimental - and it looks about two hundred words long.

The first issue they had over a month to work on. The second issue, clearly, didn't have as much time, or as much room for thought, and so gives a clearer sense of what the new NME is trying to be.

What it seems to be is a really watered down Shortlist. Which is a blow to those of us who were hoping it might at least be a watered down NME.

Something better: Art Decades**, which has just* launched its fourth issue, with a 20 page appreciation of Lush. There's interviews with both Miki Berenyi AND Emma Anderson. One of the main revelations is that there's a Lush song which rips off the theme of Reggie Perrin.

* - I say "just"; it's dated July 2015.

** - You can get it via


Paul said...

You're bang-on about the Shortlist comparison. It's just so lightweight. The NME deserves better than this Weekend At Bernie's imitation.
I assumed the change to also cover film and fashion was to bring in a broader range of advertisers, but its still mostly music-related. So if they've surrendered their identity for that, and it's still not bringing in new ads, I'd be surprised if it makes it to 2016.

Joris said...

yes, this:

> What it seems to be is a really watered down Shortlist.

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