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Uncut is a monthly magazine focussing on music, movies and related books. It costs around £4.50 per issue, which includes a cover-mounted CD compilation each month.
I've been reading Uncut on and off for quite a few years now, and it is probably the music magazine I buy most often, although I've never quite wanted to commit to an annual subscription. I think this is because some issues tempt me to buy and read it a lot more than others.
Uncut always has a very indepth retrospective feature on a certain artist, who also features on the cover, and this is one of the things that influences my choice to buy the magazine. Their featured artists can seem very 'safe' at times; for example, U2 or The Beatles, and the prospect of buying a magazine with so many pages dedicated to these major artists can be off-putting.
I tend to buy music magazines that alert me to new music I might enjoy, and it's in this area that I feel Uncut shines. Its review section is huge, featuring over 200 reviews per issue. The free CD can also be a huge bonus, and some of their past CDs have led me into whole genres that I hadn't previously explored, such as Americana. It does tend to focus on indie/rock/punk music more than other genres.
The writing in Uncut is generally unpretentious and conveys an active interest in and enjoyment of the music they're writing about, which is more than can be said of some music magazines. It's substance over style here.
On the whole, I'd say Uncut is a quality monthly magazine that's very useful for finding out about new releases. I tend to look at the cover artist and contents of the CD when deciding whether or not to buy it, though.
"Uncut is a monthly music magazine. There is a subscription offer on the website where you it works out to be around £2.85 per issue. Normally I found shops sell this at around 4-6 pounds. Each issue contains a free CD, covering a various theme each month.
The magazine starts off with the standard letters, then a few monthly features like: "My Life in Music" in which a selected musician reveals his favorite albums, "Unsung Heroes", "And it's goodnight from" which is basically an obituaries page amongst other quirky little articles. Then Uncut will usually have a few interviews and some countdown list of some kind like "top 20 country albums" or the like. Then they have nearly 200 reviews of the latest albums, books and DVD reviews.
I was browsing in my local Tesco one day, and being a music fan decided to pick up a music publication to read over lunch. "Kerrang" looked a bit too pop orientated, same with Q, but then out of the corner of my eye I spotted "Uncut" which looked interesting. A free CD completed the deal and off I went on my merry way. A few issues later, I felt I had picked up sufficient information to complete this review.
Uncut mainly covers Alternative and Indie music, and I've noticed the free CD each month is normally some acoustic country tinged indie, which is a bit disappointing because it sounds bland after hearing so much it. The same can be said of the magazine, the odd time you will find an old hard rock band interview or country album feature but it is mainly focused on so-called indie bands, with the odd dance group thrown in. Although it claims to have over 200 reviews each issue, most are only a paragraph long. Also these smaller reviews tend to have loads off big complicated words for the sake off it, looks they should read some off the reviews on dooyoo. The big reviews are normally quality pieces and quite informing but I have noticed a bit too much emphasis on lyrics which can get annoying.
The features are normally the best part, with interesting interviews or articles on famous albums that are always intriguing. The free CD is a good way to hear some bands you might not hear otherwise but as I said earlier the song choices are a bit bland, they could too with broadening their horizons a little bit, but I suppose that is the nature of the magazine.
Overall Uncut is a good value for money magazine that will be enjoyed by anyone interested in indie music, if you are only into what is in the charts don't bother though.
Though I don't own a subscription to Uncut magazine, or even buy it anywhere near a regular basis. I do admit to owning a number of copies since the last few years. Infact wasn't the first issue out only a few years ago? Uncut magazine is basically a monthly magazine devoted to all things music, movie and book related. It's packed with articles, interviews, news and reviews, to a considerable degree - and that's basically it. It's got it's ads and some useless parts, as does any mag, but the focus is on the prime stuff. Around 200 reviews to be exact. The layout is somewhere between glossy and down-to-earth, which also reflects that Uncut caters for a number of tastes; though judging by the accompanying CD with every issue I own so far, there's a big bias on watered down acoustic indie on the music side. Not that that's bad, but 95% of the tracks are bland and boring. I don't want to hear Lambchop and their clones time and time again. The prime articles, although few in number are very extensive and are a joy to read. It's almost as if buying a disposable informative book on a subject you like for £3.70 (with offers for subscribing). It also includes the latest news on the aforementioned categories and readers letters for input. It's all a sussed package that works. There's always atleast one prime article per music and film section, and there are reviews for CD's, DVD's, VHS, books, TV, live, albums, and soundtracks. The whole spectrum really. Uncut does represent good value for money. But it isn't as diverse as it'd like you to think it is. It'll give you the odd namecheck for harder rock and hip-hop etc., but that's just being novel. Uncut loves 80's rooted indie, even though it thinks it's mostly futuristic, but only partly. The movies section is quite extensive though, covering aspects of both major and independent cinema. I'
m no big cinema buff but it's adequate for me though. The books section could do with some more though as it's given less space than music and movies etc. I wouldn't mind longer articles/interviews with authors. The articles are always a good long read, and the reviews (many much more scathing unlike other press) are enjoyable to read whether you find them useful or unagreeable just because of wording. Overall it's a good disposable monthly read, but I wouldn't recommend a subscription as I don't think Uncut can universally cater every issue. I always buy an Uncut when there's a good feature on the cover I'd be interested in, and if possible if there's other good reviews or articles or some glimmer on the accompanying CD. It's a pretty somewhat strained buy for me, personally. I'm wondering how exactly to rate this - It's not brilliant, yet it's not a no-hoper magazine, and yet on a personal level it's not even very recommended, so a safe average 3/5 is what I'll give Uncut. Okay, but not great.
I have a really short attention span. Yes it's a problem of mine. But I can always find time to read this magazine (when I have enough money that is). It's expensive. £4.50 odd! But it is worth it, especially with a REALLY good Cd on the cover, with proper good stuff, not just 'recent things' But old stuff, like the beatles, and Bob Dylan. The tastes involved are very varied. The opinions are strong, and you can see the people writing them care about the chosen subject. It also has a very good film section, so I'd recommend it to anyone!
I tend to buy a music magazine every month and usually choose between Q or Mojo depending upon what the cover feature is, however last month for the 1st time I bought uncut largely on the strength of the promised David Bowie interview. The Bowie article certainly didn't disappoint it was about 15 pages long and far more in depth than in usual music mag interviews. The downside of this was that with the majority of the editorial taken up by this the other articles were all a bit short and uninspiring. This may have had something to do with the subject matter since Uncut is probably trying to position itself between Q and Mojo with a musical taste of new(ish) artists (Re Q) who appeal to the older music lover (re Mojo) whereas my tastes are either cutting edge or actual classics so I couldn't summon an interest in the majority of these articles, a simular malaise struck me as I was reading the review section which for me is the most important bit of any music mag. A plus was the Fee Cd which appears with every issue, very little of which I'd heard of before but at least 50% was very good. However I find I can't recomend this magazine due to having little in common with the editor's musical tastes.
The existing reviews on Uncut have covered most of the ground already, but I had to add my twopennorth. Uncut is expensive by music mag standards (currently £3.50 I think), but the CD's really are of such a high standard that they're far more worthwhile than most full price compilations. With early issues of the magazine I thought initially that it was going to be neither fish nor fowl, aiming to cover music AND film AND books - but it has matured brilliantly. As one of the other reviewers says elsewhere, it can't give you every up to the minute titbit of info, but it covers most areas very well and is particularly good at providing two or three seriously indepth articles a month. Both the mag and the CD are particularly strong on alt.country, but not to the exclusion of any other style. Best of all, Uncut is a grown-up read without slipping into the po-faced style of Mojo. I have Uncut to thank for discovering a whole clutch of new artists over the last couple of years, and I heartily recommend it if your tastes extend beyond the top 40, current dance trends and the latest bunch of teenage american shouters.
As a manic music fan (a particularly keen fan of music that is, rather than a fan of crazed music) , a manic movie fan (ditto), an avid reader, and a complete info junkie, when I dicovered Uncut a couple of years ago, I though it had been specifically designed for me in mind. Reviews, features and interviews of all the coolest most cutting edge (terrible cliche, I know) and classic artists, films, books and albums around, like Q, and paper versions of Moviedrome and The Late Review rolled into one superb package. And as the magazine matured, the best got better. Every month features a major, lengthy, in depth article on a worthy artist or subject. Recent examples include U2, The Rolling Stones and Happy Mondays. The reviews are fair, varied and enthusiastic without being sycophantic. One of the best regular features is the Sacred Cows page where glorified cultural figureheads and their works are reexamined to see if they really live up to the dribbling praise heaped upon them. 'Victims' include Frank Zappa, The Stone Roses, Joy Division and The Beatles 'Revolver' - you may not agree with all the opinions expressed, but it sure makes a change to read a constructive view of those usually revered beyond any hint of critisism. I mean, I like Joy Division, but I don't think I had ever read a so called respectable music mag write anything about Joy Division that even considered the notion that maybe they weren't a bunch of tortured geniuses. The thing that really puts Uncut head, shoulders and torso above the rest though is the sheer quality and diversity of the cover mounted CD, 'Unconditionally Guaranteed', which is attache every month. Whereas with many free CD's on magazines you get a few decent already released and well known tracks, a half decent live track or two or maybe a not at all decent unreleased track (unreleased for a very good reason in most cases), U.C. 'guides you through
the months essential selection of reissues and new releases.' By way of example, this months (dated September 2000) brings together Motorhead and Billy Fury, Gang of Four and Gene to name but four. Through Uncut's brilliant CD's I have discovered the brilliance of Gillian Welch, East River Pipe, Knife in the Water and many more....names previously unfamiliar to me, but who's albums now all feature in my CD collection. Anybody with an interest in discovering new music and movies and revisiting the classics will love Uncut. The mag also reviews books and features the more interesting authors. Highly commended and eagerly recommended.
Excellent monthly magazine - can be hard to find, though. Music is the major strength - reviews and interviews rather than up to the minute concert details. If you like alt/indie/garage/classic rock/psychedelia you'll be well pleased with the well-researched articles. The free CD's (EVERY month, not just when they feel like it, or a major label wants to promote a batch of songs from their roster) are well worth the cover price. It's also good on film, and their reviews are usually very reliable. Examples of films that get excellent reviews in the August issue: Jesus' Son; Mission Impossible 2; American Story. The mag's not so po-faced that it will dismiss huge blockbusters like MI-2. If they think you'll enjoy it, they'll rate it highly. Personally I rate Uncut so highly that I've just started a 2 year subscription.