Although Streissguth is not the literary equal of Peter Guralnick (Elvis Presley) or Elijah Wald (Robert Johnson), he avoids the gush-and-awe prose of Rolling Stone and Spin.
Brinkley knows of which he speaks -- he's written for Rolling Stone many times, and no one gushes harder, particularly when he's genuflecting before Norman Mailer, Hunter S. Thompson or John Kerry. I've never read anything by him that didn't amount to little more than misty-eyed hero-worship.
I don't know what it is about the magazine, but the "good writers" who slum there all have a tendency to wind up sounding like 13-year-olds at a Britney Spears concert. I loved Jonathan Lethem's piece on Bob Dylan, but it was the same way, really -- he never got over the fact that he was sitting in the presence of a genius.