In an effort to stay alive in an age where print mags, especially music-focused ones, are suffering, the venerable rag SPIN recently conducted a near-total redesign. Along with the company's new website — which has been reconceived with a focus on timely news, reviews, and those controversial album-reviews-as-Tweets — the mag's editors made substantial changes to the print edition. First, it's going to come out every other month, instead of monthly; the focus will be on stories and features with a longer shelf life than right now; most of the pages are rough instead of glossy; and the scope of coverage has expanded. Along with the new indie mainstream, SPIN is covering hip-hop acts like Black Hippy and going in depth on R&B-God-in-waiting Frank Ocean. There's even a feature about Korean pop, along with shorter pieces on comic books and film. Since subscribers have received their copies and newsstands should get them soon, check out five things we dig about the new SPIN, below, and afterward, a few things we don't.
1. The size
Obviously. This thing is much larger — 112 slab-like pages measuring 9 1/2 by 12 inches — and it feels meaty. (Also, expensive.) As the issue's intro brags, you drop this bound hunk of paper on a table and it makes a satisfying thud. That's a rare and wonderful feeling for a music magazine (or, hell, any mag that isn't Robb Report or the September Vogue) to make.