Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Year In Review 2020 - Favorite Album Art

We kick off our Year in Review section of 2020 with a favorite feature in the Best of... area, Album Art. Like in years past we will be choosing our Favorite Albums of the Year, a few that were underwhelming and our favorite live shows. 

Today we are starting out by judging books (records) by their covers (vinyl sleeves, jackets, digital pics, etc) with the Best Album Art Work of 2020.

The biggest gripe RtBE has with digital music is not the quality (that has been massively improved) 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 album art 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, actually holding, examining tons of covers while listening to music can't be adequately recorded, it added new dimensions to the sounds. You were connected to album in a more physical way; things were deeper, more evocative...Anyways...

In 2018 our favorite album covers had a clear theme...skulls, 2019 was much more varied, so let's get to our favorite album covers of the shitty year 2020.

2020 wasn't great for a lot of things, album covers included. There are only a few that stood out to RtBE:

This whimsical folk art looking album cover with bright colors and smiles captures the spirit of Joe Russo's first solo album. 

RtBE are suckers for a good retro cover in modern times and Tami Neilson's music fits the swingin' cover art (fringe and bouffant included) perfectly. 

Another throwback, to a time RtBE remembers well, early nineties straight edge hardcore. Rain of Salvation's love of that era comes out before any notes are strummed as this cover seems straight out of Revelation Records classic era. 

The funk band delivered a strong album with the Berlin Sessions while the album cover recalled prime era Parliament Funkadelic with a modern touch. 

RtBE's Favorite Album Art of 2020:

The idea of huge glaciers finally giving up in 2020 seems pretty perfect actually. While the music was good from PJ the photo by nature photographer Paul Nicklen is staggering. Check him out as his shots are astounding, the Pearl Jam in the Richter Scale font is a sweet touch and tops our list for 2020. Here are a few tunes from the record to celebrate.

Did we miss any? Feel free to suggest some in the comments:

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