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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The 10 Worst Album Cover Artworks of 2014

(according to me)


The 10 Worst Album Cover Artworks of 2014: 10. Diplo - Random White Dude Be Everywhere

10. Diplo - Random White Dude Be Everywhere

Even if this album’s title is humorously interesting, and even if this release is essentially a compilation of really satisfying tracks, and even if this artwork is pretty funny when you think about it ... the dude used a screenshot of his Twitter profile as his record cover. That’s pretty dumb, c’mon. What’s more, he edited his account details to read over 7 billion followers, which is everyone in the world, and that’s impossible. Not only because a large percentage of the population doesn't have access to the internet, but because I personally will NEVER follow you, Diplo. You hear me? I WILL NEVER FOLLOW YOU.


The 10 Worst Album Cover Artworks of 2014: 09. Prince - Art Official Age

09. Prince - Art Official Age

Ah, wait I get it! It’s like, Prince’s third eye, right? In order to indicate he has some kind of a spiritual insight on his forehead, correct? But then if this man has indeed recently developed a mystical perception of sorts, then why was this album’s reception so lacklustre and average? Is he perhaps slipping in his old age? Why would he choose an artist as amateur as Maya Washington to take on such a high prolific a job? Was sex involved? Ugh, whatever, he’s Prince, he can do what he wants.


The 10 Worst Album Cover Artworks of 2014: 08. Motorpsycho - Behind the Sun

08. Motorpsycho - Behind the Sun

Norway's Kim Hiorthøy has made a lot of artwork in his time, many for this very psychedelic rock band, as well as some for a couple of other respectable rock bands too, maintaining a generally decent standard throughout (see both of Fire! Orchestra’s releases for excellent examples of what this guy can do). Kim also paints, makes films, takes photos, writes, and composes his own electronic music, proving the boy has talent beyond most of us pathetic humans with 9-5 desk jobs (not bitter). So what exactly happened this round? Well, I have a theory, which goes like this: he made it using a free iPhone app whilst smoking weed.


The 10 Worst Album Cover Artworks of 2014: 07. Bohren & der Club of Gore - Piano Nights

07. Bohren & der Club of Gore - Piano Nights

I have no idea who created this "artwork" or even who that dude on the cover is, but it freaks me out, man. If it came with the newspaper headline of “here is Bohren, notorious child molester and serial killer, enjoying his second favourite hobby, playing the piano”, I would be like "oh, that makes sense" and I'd turn the page. What’s worse is that the image represents the music flawlessly: a dark jazz album which is as horroresque as it is sad, trying to be sexual but only managing to be creepy in that dull, achingly slow, uneventful kind of way. Except to say, that it's a really good record at the end of the night.


The 10 Worst Album Cover Artworks of 2014: 06. Suzanne Vega - Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles

06. Suzanne Vega - Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles

Jeri Heiden (part of the Smog Design team) is the artist who we must point fingers and laugh at right now, hahaha, do it! But then, look at her credentials: promo artwork for Madonna, P!nk, Beck, Garbage, Selena Gomez, Cher, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Jarvis Cocker, and Regina Spektor, to name seriously very few. I thought long and hard as to why such a prestigious expert would risk her reputation with the photoshop nightmare you see above, and I concluded that it must be because someone told her the album’s title before the task, and she immediately gave up. Hey, at least they are both as pretentious as each other, puke.


The 10 Worst Album Cover Artworks of 2014: 05. Joey Essex - Essex Anthems

05. Joey Essex - Essex Anthems

I don’t even know how to descibe my issues when it comes to pretty much everything about this album. First of all, it is a three CD compilation, curated by Joey Essex, who rose to fame from the tacky reality-ish TV soap The Only Way Is Essex (imagine: Jersey Shore, in Britain). Ok, so that's hard enough to swallow but maybe I could stomach it, if it weren't for the fact that this douche got a record deal with Warner just to release it, which is why my keyboard is currently covered in vomit as I type with my fingers knuckle deep in my own sick. Granted, he doesn’t sing on the thing (which is a big plus), but even when considering that point or ignoring how predictable the chosen club bangerz were, this cover is inexcusable. Said to be “signifying quality and prestige” all I hear is “chavvy chav chav” and I don’t need to watch the show (I haven’t) to want to punch Joey in the face.


The 10 Worst Album Cover Artworks of 2014: 04. How to Dress Well - What Is This Heart?

04. How to Dress Well - "What Is This Heart?"

So I guess there is some merit to this artwork, as the designated Oval-X art duo went above and beyond the call of duty when they put together this package, especially the way it comes apart in a holographic manner, a feat I encourage you to drool over by clicking here. They continued to explain that they wanted to achieve what Phil Collins did with Face Value, an image which looks “directly into your soul”, despite the fact that How To Dress Well’s Tom Krell isn’t looking into the camera whatsoever. But regardless of clever historical inspiration and fancy 3D effects, nothing can save this artwork from appearing as though the singer is taking a shit, and having a difficult time with the process too.


The 10 Worst Album Cover Artworks of 2014: 03. Kasabian - 48:13

03. Kasabian - 48:13

The music is good, the band are assholes, the title is stupid, and the artwork is even worse—so take this all as a warning, kids: here is what drugs will do to you. Kasabian themselves revealed to Graham Norton that they “weren’t trying to clever” (success!) and that they “came up with the title before we finished the record” which meant they had to spend many months editing songs just to ensure they hit that perfect time—self admittedly “the most ridiculous idea ever”. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without the song times (but not the song names) leading down into this magical number, slapped upon one painful pink background because “pink is the ultimate way of saying 'I don't care what you think'—there's a very punk element to it.” Well, at least that’s true.


The 10 Worst Album Cover Artworks of 2014: 02. Leonard Cohen - Popular Problems

02. Leonard Cohen - Popular Problems

Long time collaborator Michael Petit designed this cover for yet another one of old man Cohen’s latter day gems, and in the artist’s defence, his general standard of past work has been fairly digestible. But this one is ... an MSPaint job, I think? I’m not even sure what that shit is supposed to be at the bottom left, an inkblot test? Hmmm, maybe. I kinda see a saxophone player? Or perhaps a tortoise creature clinging onto the chest of a man with a tiny head, and they are eating each other’s faces? I don’t know, is this a popular problem?


The 10 Worst Album Cover Artworks of 2014: 01. The Shrine - Bless Off

01. The Shrine - Bless Off

Is this hard rock band so unknown because they are proudly underground? Or because they are shit? Either way, their popularity status renders any details difficult to come by, except to say that this ... thing ... was created by their friend Kris Kirk, who apparently told the band “you know what The Shrine needs? A wolf screaming on acid!” They agreed, and here we are, one of the worst artworks (and albums) I’ve come across in a long while. But maybe you like it, and if so, you should buy these socks. Rock 'n' Roll!


Other Terribles
Imelda May - Tribal
The Gaslight Anthem - Get Hurt
King Buzzo - This Machine Kills Artists
The Black Keys - Turn Blue
Manchester Orchestra - Cope
I Am The Avalanche - Wolverines
Howler - World of Joy
East India Youth - Total Strife Forever


The 10 Best Album Cover Artworks of 2014
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