Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Year In Review 2014- Best Album Art

We kick off our Year in Review section of 2014 with a favorite 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 2014
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. Thankfully the rise of vinyl is helping this dilemma but it is still not enough. The hours we spent staring at covers while listening to music can not be adequately recorded, it added new dimensions to the sounds...Anyways...   
This was a pretty down year for us in cover art land. Nothing really jumped out as amazing at all. Oh and since we actually released an album this year, we need to take our first release out of the running. Although we do love the cover art which was an amazing photo taken by Bruno _Pek_ We did nothing to alter it as we felt it completely encompassed Angels & Vagabonds as is and I feel contends with any we selected below. It is pretty cosmic someone from Italy nailed our name and feeling with one shot for the cover of The A&V EP.
 Thanks again Bruno.  Now on to the art...

 Honorable Mentions:

The Black Keys- Turn Blue
This one is strictly digital, when you click on Turn Blue on your phone the swirl is mesmerizing. The band created the first cover we can think of that really grabs a hold of the digital format and almost makes it tough to look it/away from because of it's hypnotic state. Well done. The music inside is fantastic as well and I got a feeling you will be hearing more about this album when we dig deeper into 2014's Best Of. The cover was designed by drummer Patrick Carney's brother Michael and references Pat's interest in Mind Control...   

Gina Chavez- up.rooted
We are a sucker for day of the dead stuff and Gina's cover art spoke to us right away. It helps that the music inside the album was excellent as well.

S.Carey- Range of Light
The matching of cover art to title to music inside can elevate certain covers above just normal status. That was the case with S.Carey's Range of Light. While a fine cover in itself, the music inside is like like a sun rise over a mountain range pretty much nails it with this image. Or maybe we are still thinking about our trip to the Grand Canyon, thanks Phantom Ranch peeps!


Warpaint- Warpaint
We enjoy the dynamics of a self titled album and when the art speaks just as loudly as the name we love it even more. All four of the members of Warpaint are seen as one, yet individual, a beautiful band statement and perfect for a self titled album.  Warpaint's second full length was solid but for us, the cover art developed by Chris Cunningham spoke even louder.

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

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