The new Rolling Stone arrived today, and it's notable on a few levels, including a redesign (the oversize format is gone, replaced by something that looks much more like Esquire) and Barack Obama's face on the front (this is getting to be like Oprah magazine, with the same cover model issue after issue). But on my initial flip-through, the thing that grabbed my attention most forcefully was the four-star review of the reissue of the Replacements' 1985 album Tim. Now, I understand that four stars is a good review (or "excellent" on the magazine's stars-to-words conversion chart). I also understand the reluctance to score a new album higher right out of the gate; great albums earn their fifth star over time. But twenty-three years later, does anyone not think Tim is an essential, classic album? Sure, "Dose of Thunder" is a casually rendered flake of Westerberg's dandruff, but it stands alongside "Kiss Me on the Bus," "Bastards of Young," "Left of the Dial," "Swingin Party" and "Here Comes a Regular" (among others), on one of the most swaggering, mesmerizing, mind-blowing records of the post-punk era.
If the star system is consistent, then the magazine declares that Tim is of roughly the same quality as new releases by Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, Eagles of Death Metal, Kaiser Chiefs, Raphael Saadiq and Juana Molina. Those may all be terrific albums (I've heard the Adams record, and it's sensational), but if, in 2031, there's a consensus that any of them are in the same league as Tim, be sure to check back here for the live video stream of me eating my own head.