Thursday, December 5, 2013

Year In Review 2013 - Best Album Art

We kick off our Year in Review section of 2013 with a new feature in the Best of... area.  Like in years past we will be choosing our Best Albums of the Year, a few we were underwhelmed with and our favorite show. Today we are starting out by judging books (records) by their covers (vinyl sleeves, jackets, digital pics, etc). We are going to support the creative minds behind the Best Album Art Work of 2013
The biggest gripe RtBE has with digital music is not the quality (that has been massively improved the last few years) nor the disposal nature of it (still a problem, but whatever), it is the lack of amazing album covers and art work.  Sure there may be great artists out there but seeing it on a screen, in iTunes or elsewhere is nothing compared to holding an LP cover or even a CD booklet with pages of lyrics, pictures etc. The hours we spent staring at covers while listening to music can not be adequately recorded, it added new dimensions to the sounds...Anyways...   
That said there were a few covers/full on art that really jumped out at us this year, click that read more button to find out which one's we liked best in 2013

Honorable Mentions:

The Joy Formidable- Wolf's Law
This is a great image/painting/whatever, we can't be sure, but it speaks to us. Really beautiful. The album had some intriguing music as well, but will it make our year end list? We reviewed the disk here.

Leprous - Coal
It seems Heavy Metal always has interesting (if sometimes laughable) cover art. The Norwegian Progressive Metal Band Leprous teamed up with painter Jeff Jordan and put out this awesome cover. While the music was good, if a bit uneven, the album art is fantastic, I would love a poster of this on my wall. 

Eluvium - Nightmare Ending
Ambient indie music that floats and bends into the ether? Yeah this Artsy Fartsy cover works well for that.

A$AP Rocky-Long.Live.A$AP
One of our Favorite Hip-Hop Moniker's, our favorite Hip-Hop Cover of the year, just too bad the songs didn't stick around in our brain long enough. Black and White, Wrapped in the US flag, yeah we are on board with this one. 

Hanni El Khatib- Head In the Dirt
We dig the design so much of H*E*K's new album that we bought a b&w tee at the show we caught in October, but what really stands out is the LP design with the denim vest and patches for the songs, you can peep (and buy) the LP here.

Paramount Records Wonder Cabinet
Ok, This one is cheating, but it needed to be mentioned. The care and detail Jack White and his whole Third Man Record company goes about things is just so amazing. Read much more here. Just wow. Let's get to the winning album cover proper...


Arctic Monkeys - A.M.
A great disk with dope album art, if design based. Is it sunglasses? A bikini? Just sonic waves? Whatever you interpret it as, the coolness seeps through giving one of the best disks of the year a cover worthy of the music inside. It is slick, designer focused, sophisticated and artsy but on human level. Did you notice the A and M in the center stating the title? We starred at the album for about a month and a half before we did.  Are they running throughout all the waves? Love the cover and love the band, glad they gave us this one, we wrote about the music here.  

I am sure we missed some, and with the re-emergence of Vinyl mayhaps there is hope for the album cover in the future, got any good ones we missed? Feel free to voice all opinions in the comments.

No comments:

Post a Comment