Rolling Stone‘s 2008 Hot Issue spotlights acts like Band of Horses and Vampire Weekend, but more on that later. For the next week, we’ll be taking a look at Hot Issue hits and misses from the past twenty-one years (because nobody’s cultural thermometer is accurate all the time).
Hit: In 2002, the year his “When I Get You Alone” caught R&B fans’ attention, Rolling Stone proclaimed crooner Robin Thicke — who simply went by the name Thicke at that point — “Hot Actually Pretty Good.” For his sophomore album, actor Alan’s son lost the long hair and picked up his first name, and the results were definitely hot: 2006’s The Evolution of Robin Thicke has gone platinum, big-name stars want to work with him, and single “Lost Without U” topped the charts — four of them at the same time.
Miss: In 2003, we named British more-ironic-than-thou glam crew the Darkness “Hot Metal.” The band remained critics’ faves, but never picked up commerically, and while their debut album Permission to Land went gold on the strength of falsetto-screeched single “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” its follow-up One Way Ticket to Hell … And Back never made the return trip. In the summer of ’06, singer Justin Hawkins left the band for rehab, and though the group reassembled with a new lineup, anticipation for their label-less third LP is extremely chilly.