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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

My Favorite Album Covers of 2015

I'm taking AP Art History this year, and it's my favorite class. It's really opened my eyes to how important (the history of) art is in so many aspects of today's society: Presidential elections, advertisements, etc. Now that I look at art more critically, I've been spending a lot of time thinking about what constitutes a great album cover - regardless of the music. Here's my favorite artwork from this year's releases.

I Love You, Honeybear - Father John Misty

Honestly, I don't understand it completely. There's obvious a religious reference, with the Virgin Mary holding a baby Jesus in the center of the cover. It's strange how, which I learned in Art History, Mary is always portrayed as a 20-ish year old, while Jesus (even baby jesus) looks like a full grown man. The mythical imagery that surrounds this religious figure is confusing, yet exciting; the movement and life expressed within the figures really makes this cover stand out. Also, as an artist, I really admire the use of watercolor - that shit is difficult.


If You're Reading This It's Too Late - Drake

I'm a huge fan of text-in-art (think Jenny Holzer and Tracey Emin), and I think the simplicity of this cover really hit it on the head. I genuinely would like this if I saw it blown up in an art gallery. It's simple, cryptic, and still has a tinge of design.


In Colour - Jamie xx

Album artwork is supposed to catch the eye... it's like judging a book by its cover. The logo that Jamie xx has created (1/4 of The XX's "x") is really great. I love continuity in album covers (think Vampire Weekend's white border and Futura font), and this one is no exception. It immediately lets you know who the artist is. I also think that this cover is great in the context of the album, since I personally get a feeling of darkness in all of the songs until "The Rest Is Noise," the second to last track, which sounds like a bursting rainbow of colors just like this one. I'm not counting "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)," which is the third-to-last track... that song deserves an album cover of its own.


Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper - Panda Bear

Similar to In Colour, this cover really fits with the album as a whole. I think it's party great art direction from Panda Bear - all of the interactive art from pbvsgr.com is fantastic. Recently, I've really thought of Panda Bear as more art than just music; the experience of seeing him at Coachella with all the visuals behind his set-up truly brought this album together for me. The psychedelic, experimental pop sounds mesh perfectly with this artwork, especially when you imagine it moving as it does on pbvsgr.com... almost like the optical illusion of the Merriweather Post Pavilion artwork.


Every Open Eye - CHVRCHES

I'm almost positive this is an homage to Power, Corruption & Lies with the pale pink flowers and the blocks of color, and I love it. One of the art teachers I've had over the years constantly encouraged me to steal from other artists I liked; "artists steal from each other, it's what we do" I can hear him saying in my head. I think the colors and composition of this cover are great. If it is, in fact, a tribute to New Order, I love it even more. Thinking about it, with Every Open Eye, CHVRCHES are in a position of "power." Obviously "corruption" is ever-present in the music industry (who wants to sell out?) and this is dumb, but there was a song called "Lies" on their first album. I definitely this artwork is the better of the two.

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xx Alyssa


  1. this is such a cool and different post! i never really thought about album covers like this. I'm planning on taking ap art history next year, hopefully ill enjoy it as much as you!