Best (and Worst) Album Covers Of The Year

There’s more than just music that goes into an album, the artwork is the first thing people see when they buy an album and it can catch the eyes of those who would otherwise be uninterested. Unfortunately there are also some covers that are also just atrocious but at least manage to catch the eye by this fact.



Deafheaven – Sunbather

Though I have yet to listen to this album I have seen this cover countless times and it has never failed to catch my eye with its minimalist style.


Austra – Olympia

From stark contrast between singer Katie Stelmanis and the blue background and the beauty and intensity of the colours on the cover, this album stands out and presents itself as a real work of art that could stand alone without its musical context.


Deap Vally – Sistrionix

From the mixing colours of hair and interesting use of motion blurring I keep stopping when I see this cover. It just has a cool aesthetic to it that I love.


Janelle Monáe – The Electric Lady

While more luxurious, this cover has a lot going on. From the eyecandy of its title’s font to the multiple mixings of black and white lines, and even the multiple glossy surfaces. It has enough to catch your eye now matter what your tastes.


The Flaming Lips – The Terror

No matter what the music, The Flaming Lips have a knack at picking good album covers. The crazy range of neon colours make this cover a unique one and it’s approaching explosion look makes it even more intriguing.


City and Colour – The Hurry And The Harm

Simple two sided photo, the addition of some interesting geometric shapes make the bright side seem even bolder.


Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires Of The City

Font has been amazing in covers recently, the font of Vampire Weekend’s new album title really works with the band’s aesthetic and just looks great. The black and white New York skyline covered in clouds also echo’s the feel the band takes with this album, mixing high and urban sounds. All capped with their Wes Anderson-like band font it’s a passable follow-up to the iconic look of their Contra cover.


The Joy Formidable – Wolf’s Law

More painting than anything else, this cover not only echos the theme of the album but is just a great painting that more than Austra’s cover could be a modern classic without the band’s name on it.


Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe

Bold red and blue and a great example of how simple it is to create an interesting image by mixing simple shapes. Chvrches’ album cover complements the sound of the album and is a great minimalist piece of art.


5. The Strokes – Comedown Machine

While some people may think this cover a cop out, I love the old school aesthetic of this cover. Not only featuring many old features like large brand presence and album features, it does the cool service of giving the album’s run time. Just a cool cover altogether.


4. Arctic Monkeys – AM

Reminiscent of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album cover, the new Arctic Monkey’s cover, simply features a wave, with the band’s initials (and album name) very naturally integrated into it. Probably the intent it stands to use AM and the wave art to pay homage to radio. A really clever looking album cover


3. Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action

A kooky cover for a kooky band. I’ve love the simple arrow aesthetic of this cover and it’s strange look just grabs me.


2. Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

As I’ve mentioned before, the bold red backing, great new band logo and amazing painting by artist Boneface made me enjoy the new Queens’ album even more. A great example of great art and great music coming together to complement each other. The Dracula theme is great and not only works with the song “Vampyres Of Time And Memory” but works with the dark trancy vibe of the album overall.


1. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

The font, the shine, the contrast and split, this cover does it all. It’s gleam and font matches the shiny disco feel of the album. The black working with the black and white aesthetic of disco as well as its classy feel. The split down the middle beautifully blends the band’s two iconic helmets now in gold and silver, to match the fancy feel. All working together to make the most if not only really iconic album cover of the year that will stand the test of time. 

The Worst:


Tyler The Creator – Wolf

While possibly one of the funniest covers of the year, this cover looks god awful. I really don’t even know what to say. Even if that was the intention it just looks painfully tacky.


The Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito

A great example of why cgi 3D images just don’t really work as album covers. The new YYY’s cover is just a mess, from the bad looking baby, weirdly placed jar and atrocious font within the 3d aesthetic. The mosquito itself is the only part of this image that looks okay but the whole thing is really just looks amateur and bad. For an established punk band this is just an atrocious choice, everyone I’ve talked about this album with can’t help but say “man that cover is bad.”

Any album covers you thought looked better or better yet worse? Let me know and if they really intrigue or sadden me I’ll post them.


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