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Miscellaneous

Album Art Gems: Part 5

Welcome to the grand finale of the Album Art Gems series! If you haven’t been keeping up, here are links to the firstsecondthird, and fourth installations. This has been such a fun blog series for me and I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it!

1. Negro Swan – Blood Orange

I literally can never get tired of looking at this cover. It is just absolutely exquisite. The way the winged model is posing out of the car is so elegant, and I love the minimal, organic color palette.

2. Currents – Tame Impala

I know this is very basic of me, but I couldn’t NOT include “Currents.” It’s an excellent allusion to the psychedelic covers so often found on 60s and 70s album art, which Tame Impala tends to channel in their music.

 

3. Wolf – Tyler, the Creator

In Part 4, I mentioned “IGOR,” but how could I only highlight just one Tyler album? The “Wolf” cover perfectly encapsulates his ridiculous and dark style of production. I love how it reminds me of a cheesy high school portrait from the 80s. The inhaler in his hand really tops it all off.

 

4. Melodies – Jan Hammer Group

This album is a recent discovery of mine, but I was blown away by the colors and composition of the cover. The ways in which the photos zoom in and are made up of multicolored line patterns are a type of unique that is rarely found in modern album art.

 

5. Getz/Gilberto – João Gilberto & Stan Getz

Last but not least, one of my favorite albums of all time, we have “Getz/Gilberto.” Seeing this cover is so nostalgic for me and brings back such fond memories of my childhood. The colors remind me of the warmth of a Brazilian jazz club in the 60s, which is always where I imagine myself while listening to it.

Happy listening!

– DJ butter

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Miscellaneous

Album Art Gems: Part Four

Here we are again! Get ready for this week’s installment of Album Art Gems. If you haven’t been keeping up, here are the links to the first, second, and third parts.

1. Presence – Led Zeppelin

Quite a different energy than their other album covers, “Presence” is often ignored in comparison to their more popular LPs (but “Tea for One” is actually my favorite song currently). However, I find this cover really endearing, especially when I researched the meaning behind it. The cover shows a suburban family observing a strange, unidentifiable object in the middle of the table. On the inside of their vinyl covers, there are even more images of happy suburban people holding, staring at, or touching the same object. According to the band, the object was supposed to represent the Led Zeppelin’s place in society, and how they had a powerful yet mysterious presence in the world.

2. IGOR – Tyler, the Creator

This series would be incomplete without mentioning Tyler, the Creator’s most recent album. It is such an amazing visualization for the content of the album. Tyler looks rough, lost, and almost scary his collage-like portrait, but is contrasted by a bright pink background. To me, this is a great representation of the broken-hearted lyrics of “IGOR” and how they’re juxtaposed with happy, upbeat rhythms.

3. Copulating Rhythm, Volume One – Blues Compilation

This is a tad bit NSFW, but it was recommended by our lovely supervisor, Jamie. “Copulating Rhythm” is a blues and jazz compilation featuring artists like Lil Johnson, Rosetta Howard, Bo Carter, and many more with a rare collection of huggin’ and lovin’ songs (for adult listeners is right). Nevertheless, the colors and design of this cover are exquisite. (Apologies for the very small picture)

4. Horses – Patti Smith

If you haven’t read “Just Kids” by Patti Smith, go to the bookstore and pick it up right now. It is a beautiful, poetic autobiography by Smith and the amazing connection she had with Robert Mapplethorpe, one of the most influential photographers of our time. The book describes the exact moment when this photo was taken as Smith was entering the world of rock and Mapplethorpe was blossoming in his creative work.

5. Are You Experienced – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

I know, I know, it’s bad to give Jimi two features in this series, but I just can’t help myself. This album was the trio’s first, and my personal favorite. “Foxy Lady,” “Love or Confusion,” AND “Third Stone From the Sun”?? It’s amazing how so much genius can be in one album. The typography on this cover alone represented an entire cultural movement and is recognized even today as a masterpiece of letterform art. The colors, the fisheye, WOW. I could geek out about this album forever.

– DJ butter

Categories
Miscellaneous

Album Art Gems Pt. 3

Without further ado, here is this week’s installment of my favorite album covers of all time:

1.     Midnight Snack – HOMESHAKE

I think I’ve talked about this before in another blog post, but I love how this album art looks like the “Goodnight Moon” book cover, which was one of my favorite books growing up (fun fact: I would cry every time my mom read it to me because it made me so happy). It really fits in with the whole LP’s vibe, which feels very woozy and dreamy. The hand painted look in this piece feels delightfully playful and cozy.

2.     Pregnant With Success – Junglepussy

Junglepussy is honestly such a goddess, and this cover really captures her power. This portrait of her is composed so nicely, and I love how she simultaneously blends in with the elevator yet contrasts it with her gorgeous hair. The way the florescent lighting makes her face glow is exquisite. 

3.     BUSH – Snoop Dogg

This is another mm *chef’s kiss* cover. Produced by Pharrell, “BUSH” has a retro funk feel to it that complements Snoop’s smoothness perfectly. The simple surrealist-like feel this album cover gives off with the perfectly shaped bushes and bright bluedog is so great.

4.     Steve Lacy’s Demo – Steve Lacy

Steve Lacy consistently gives us amazing album covers, but this one is my personal favorite. The colors are fantastic and I love how the photo of him is juxtaposed on top of this bright pink mystery material. The way he stands between his bass and guitar is so casual yet speaks so powerfully to his talent on both.

5.     blkswn – Smino

Wow! Smino really overdid himself on “blkswn.” Not only is the actual content exquisite, but the cover art is too. The colors are divine and so is the composition. I love the way the album title is written on his comb, and the hands doing his hair seem to have personality and an air of movement to them. Keep it comin’ Smino.

– DJ butter

Categories
Miscellaneous

Album Art Gems: Part 2

This is a continuation of a series on my all-time favorite album art!

There’s so much really bad cover design out there, so when I find one that catches my eye it’s a great feeling. It’s hard to make a good album cover; to be able to capture the feel of an album and an artist through visuals is a real talent. There’s no doubt that music and design fit well together, but to find the sweet spot that encapsulates an artist’s vision while staying tasteful is difficult.

Here are this week’s albums that do just that:

1.     JACKBOYS – JACKBOYS & Travis Scott

The everlasting king Travis Scott has done it again. He is honestly one of my biggest guilty pleasures, but his stuff is always so fire, including the JACKBOYS cover. This short album, with Don Toliver, Sheck Wes, and other guests came out around Christmas in 2019 and has to be one of my favorites from Travis. The grainy film texture and colors on this cover are amazing.

2.     Still Striving – A$AP Ferg

I really adore the simplicity of this cover art. To me, the best covers are the ones that completely leave out all the information about the album and opt to provide a visual that speaks for the music itself. A$AP Ferg accomplished this beautifully with “Still Striving,” his 2017 release.

3.     Chinese Fountain – The Growlers

Not the biggest fan of the Growlers right now if I’m being honest with myself, but the “Chinese Fountain” cover is a really stand out piece. The colors of the neon sign, the fog, and how it all mimics a restaurant you’d find in China Town really complements the album nicely. 

4.     Thickfreakness – The Black Keys

love how the all the album info is worked into this cover. This is from one of the Black Keys’ older albums, but it continues to be one of my favorites now. All around, I just love the colors and composition.

5.     Mint – Orions Belte

Recently, Orions Belte has been at the top of my listening cue. If you’re into any sort of psychedelic surf rock, you’d be into them too. The way the lines and figures all blend together is so fantastic and trippy.

Stay tuned for next week’s rendition of Album Art Gems!

– DJ butter