Five Best and Worst Album Covers of 2011

The actual artistry of the album cover has been making a comeback. Of course, over the years, the cheesy head shot has gradually (for the most part) faded away and been replaced by, well, art. Go figure. Anyhow, 2011 was a particularly good year for the album cover. Well, there were a few examples where the art in question was more headache-inducing than awe-inspiring, but let's start with the positive.

Cerebral Ballzy, s/t

Cerebral Ballzy - Cerebral Ballzy.jpg
Keep it simple. That's my motto and no band understands more than Brooklyn's Cerebral Ballzy. This skate punk five-piece has a great name, a snotty attitude and an album cover that screams DIY cool. Plus, the drummer's name is Crazy Abe.

Iron & Wine, Kiss Each Other Clean

Trippy, like folk music in Haight-Ashbury circa 1969.

Vessels, Helioscope

This looks like the cover of a Jules Verne novel. Plus, the album was recorded in Dallas and produced by (who else?) John Congleton.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra, s/t

Hailing from Portland, Oregon and New Zealand, the music of Unknown Mortal Orchestra is as creepy and intriguing as this album cover.

Eddie Vedder, Ukulele Songs

Hate the music. Love the cover. Any album with a typewriter is cool with me.

Five Worst

Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto

This is pretentious mess. The album cover is as well.

The Strokes, Angles

There's just too much going on here, like a bad bar graph gone horribly astray.

Tom Waits, Bad As Me

Here's hoping this was a self-portrait. And the fun-house effect is so passé. Good music, though.

The Beastie Boys, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

God, I have a headache.

The Cars, Move Like This

What the hell happened to the days of Candy-O? Now it's this mish-mash of colors and textures that looks like a 3rd grader patched it together.

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Cerebral Ballsy is a great name for yet another snotty disposable skate punk band. I like the cover as well. Cars album was really good but yeah, what's was up with the album cover? Strokes album was good as well, and deserves more than the lazy "return to 1979" artwork. I am glad there appears to be more interest in album artwork. With the ease of anonymous downloading it seems to me more important than ever to have a focal point. Good article. :)


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So people are spamming DCatNight?  Nice work, Darryl!!  

The resurgence of the vinyl album, to me, invites a discussion as to the relative impact or "quality" of cover art based upon the size of the image.  To wit:  are any of these better or worse as DC-size images vs. LP, and vice versa?


my nomination for one of the worst covers is State of Shock - Rock and Roll Romance


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Littlest Ice Age
Littlest Ice Age

I kind of like the Strokes cover. It reminds me of Q*Bert.


#1 We still have album covers ? #2 Eveything you hated is neuvo 80s currently taking over, so you must be my age


Dammit, CD, not DC.  Fending off the coffee poops.

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