By Chris Moore:
The BEST PACKAGING of 2012
For this year, I’ll reserve my perennial rant on the decay of the album as an art form and the loss that is represented by the turn to digital delivery of music. Instead, I’ll take this opportunity to point out three special albums this year that embraced the possibilities that are available for expanding the vision of the album to a more total view, including the physical representation of the themes and images of the music and lyrics. The highlight of the year was Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel…, which presents drawings and handwritten lyrics which give the sense of flipping through a writer’s notebook. Go Fly A Kite can be fitted into place as a 3-D diorama, which is unique at the very least, not to mention that the lyrics include chords. Finally, The Sound of the Life of the Mind is brilliantly designed, but for the fact that far too much space is taken up by names of fans who bought into the project as sponsors, particularly considering that there are no lyrics in the CD version, which is a shame based on how artful they are.
1) The Idler Wheel… – Fiona Apple
2) Go Fly A Kite – Ben Kweller
3) The Sound of the Life of the Mind – Ben Folds Five