The BEST ALBUM COVERS of 2011 (The Year-End Awards)

Originally posted 2012-01-21 20:00:27. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Even with digital releases, there are album covers.  This seems to be the final facet of the artistry of the album that will survive into the next generation of music consumers, especially considering just how much we like colorful displays on our technology.  Still, there’s something so much more gorgeous about a CD booklet or, even better, a vinyl LP.  The five selections below – with an honorable mention thrown in because I couldn’t ignore it – are examples of the artists who still give attention to the complete package of their albums.  It was a tight contest between the top three, and these are all albums worth checking out the next time you’re in a store that offers records, even if you’re only going to take a glance.

1) Sky Full of Holes – Fountains of Wayne

2) The King of Limbs – Radiohead

3) Cloud Maintenance – Kevin Hearn

4) The Valley – Eisley

5) The Whole Love – Wilco

 

Honorable Mention:

Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes

The BEST ALBUM COVERS of 2010

The BEST ALBUM COVERS of 2010

This is a category that I feel is becoming increasingly lost in the shuffle of digital downloading.  There are, however, an increasing number of music consumers who desire to have the visual aesthetics return to the music industry, expressed in the nostalgia of vinyl.  There’s really nothing quite like a full vinyl-size album cover, especially if it’s an interesting or well-rendered image.

Although it was one of the most disappointing albums of the year, Rooney’s Eureka hit a home run with its hand-drawn covers and in-lay.  The Dead Weather take the cake for quirkiness this year, as the Sea of Cowards cover is populated by the band looking like they just walked into a costume party.  Locksley, another band to grace the cover of their album, went all-in as they wore all white clothing and ended up looking like the canvas for an abstract painting, a visual motif that was nicely continued in their music video for “The Whip.”

Arcade Fire’s cover for The Suburbs is minimalist, but it fits with the album’s themes perfectly.  Even before the listener has heard the first track, there is a seventies/eighties suburban aura around the release.  Finally, Best Coast created an eye-catching cover for their debut, and I couldn’t resist recognizing it here.

My honorable mention this year is the Scissor Sisters’ Night Work, an album that tests your comfort level even before you’ve heard its scandalous, primal tracks: if you can walk up to the cashier with this album in hand and without blushing, then you’ve passed!

I’ve linked images of these albums to the titles listed below, so simply click for a quick peek at a .jpg version.  They’re much more impressive in person though — but don’t take my word for it.

Remember to check back tomorrow for the Top 25 Songs of 2010 list!

1)  Eureka – Rooney

2)  Sea of Cowards – Dead Weather

3)  Be in Love – Locksley

4)  The Suburbs – Arcade Fire

5)  Crazy for You – Best Coast

Honorable Mention:

Night Work – Scissor Sisters