It's high time someone cut Robert Hilburn some slack. For years, The Times' distinguished pop music critic has endured no end of criticism from irate readers who claim his reviews lavish praise on boring artists, are obsessed with meaningless numbers and rankings, and generally suffer from a hyperbole that could only be defined as large. Every whiny, nit-picky anti-Hilburn reader makes the same all-too-common assumption: that Hilburn actually writes his reviews. In reality, he stopped coming up with new reviews about a decade ago, when he developed a highly sophisticated computer spreadsheet system that uses the bare minimum of information to compose infinite variations on the same theme: the artist overcoming adversity to deliver important rock to the people.
Why, see for yourself! Just fill in the blanks of this sample opening paragraph with elements from the corresponding numbered lists. You'll have your own "Robert Hilburn Review" in no time.
SCOTT CHERNOFF, Los Angeles
There was a sense of  in the air as  took the stage before a packed house of nervous, hopeful fans. The superstar beloved to millions as  hadn't played locally in almost two years, and in that time the pop scene had changed considerably. Some observers had even begun to question his/her relevancy to anyone besides . Could  still exhibit the  that once made him/her the most   in/of ? But all questions were laid to rest after a stellar set that covered most of his/her most  songs, as well as a healthy dose of new material that proved surprisingly  and left no doubt that  remains .