Artwork can make all the difference if you need your album to stand out. Some people find the right artist and get it right, and once in a while become iconic. But just as often, many artists, for one reason or another get absolutely terrible covers and for some of the better groups it’s a little disappointing. I dug through most of this year’s releases to bring you some of the latter.
The Ting Tings – Super Critical
Although the kaleidoscope idea was an interesting idea for a cover, the second they threw the MS Wordart level of title graphics on it, it really fell apart. It ruins what could be a great cover with what seems like a forced, lazy addition.
Tony Bennett And Lady Gaga – Cheek To Cheek
Despite being on my favourite albums of the year, my immediate reaction to this cover was to yell “OH GOD.” The newspaper choice seems strange, the 4th wall breaking look is kind of off-putting and it just looks kinda cheap. Considering the classiness of the record and the passion behind it, this seems like somewhat of a tacky afterthought.
Mushroomhead – The Righteous & The Butterfly
Whoever put this cover together seemed to mash every terrible tattoo idea in one for a collage that looks like a self-made, pre-90s disaster of a cover that looks like it was put together in about 5 minutes.
Tiesto – A Town Called Paradise
For one of the highest paid djs in the world, you think Tiesto could’ve hired a better artist to make this cover. It looks like a bad paparazzi shot and it almost looks like he might have been photoshopped onto the background.
Sun Kil Moon – Benji
There’s just something about this photo that screams “needed an album cover, so I took a blurry photo driving to the studio.” The colours do look okay here but the whole blurry thing makes it feel like such an afterthought.
Fuel – Puppet Strings
Something feels very energy drink about this cover, the 90’s title font and ghosting of it just seems like it is tacky skateboard art.
Wisin – El Regreso Del Sobreviviente
If you ever wondered what happens when you mash-up Pitbull and a Nike clothing ad, Wisin made it real.
Transatlantic – Kaleidoscope
Where The Ting Tings had a semi-interesting idea with their cover, Transatlantic just went full on tacky airbrush art from the start for an album that wouldn’t look good in the 60’s era it’s inspired by.
Freddie Gibbs & Madub – Piñata
I don’t know where zebra print crossed with crappy through-fence photo but it seemed be alright by the team behind this one. I mean forget the weird, tacky, zebra print, why did they also shoot the photo through the fence?
So bad it’s good:
Mya – Sweet XVI
Sometimes the tacky, 80’s power of a cover’s terrible art is so bad it’s actually kind of awesome. This one by Mya may have done 80’s flair so hard that it’s endearing.
Riff Raff – Neon Icon
It seems like Riff Raff decided the only way to properly create a cover for his comeback album was to make it reddit-friendly. This cover looks like an internet-engineered glam dream and is the most hilariously bad cover of the year.
Best covers up next.