Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cover Me

Inspired by Una Mullally's article in last week's Irish Times, a perusal of the decent recent album covers is in order. Given that the art of the LP cover is dying quite a death, let's hear it for the good 'uns.

The Manics' Journal For Plague Lovers is a sister piece to 1994's The Holy Bible in cover art and content. Its cover strikes as much of a chord as the heretofore lost Richey Edwards lyrics do in their unveiling throughout. Also sourcing Jenny Saville's art as they did in 1994, sees them put as much effort in to the visual as the audio experience.

Sweden's finest; Peter Bjorn and John's newest release - which by the by, offers the best jangling power pop and use of cowbell you'll hear all year - continues their nice little trio theme. Actually I could stick most of their covers in, and so I shall: tough.

This one is best examined up close, but the repetitious placement of words to make the objects they spell, is one to swoon over. I lust after it in a proper giant wall size.

And because three is the magic number and PBJ are upping the ante of album covers; here's 2006's Writer's Block. The detail of this is best appreciated when the fold out sleeve is revealed, they do like a theme.

Admired for its clumpy and purposely one-dimensional execution; Sufjan proudly displays Illinois' most famous sons. The unusual cover introduces an album of far flung and diverse tales with the dial set to 'sweepingly epic'. Kudos to whoever drew Al Capone, he looks like he belongs in an out-of-print primary school book. I'm pressing the imaginary 'like' button for that alone.

And finally, for the wonderfully random, Wilco come out on top. A parable for our times.

Although it's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot that you'd want proudly displayed on a t-shirt.

Here's hoping for a return to the consideration of an album's visual impact - if the good music buying folk are given something to invest in, they might just want to buy the whole package instead of download/ pilfer/ burn.


  1. Just pressed imaginary 'like' button for this piece!!

  2. Have just gotten round to seeing that the imaginary 'like' button was pressed. 'Like!'