For those who are new here, Team Choice is where each member of the team picks their favourite item within a chosen subject (brands, podcasts, apps etc). With a brand refresh on the horizon, we’ve been focusing a lot recently on what makes us, us. So for this Team Choice, we’ve chosen a subject that plays a profound role in shaping who we are. Music.
Ah, music! It connects us with the world around us and the way we feel about it, it gives us a means to express ourselves and helps us through life’s good times and bad. It’s a motivator and a therapist. It’s new beginnings and nostalgia.
But what about the artwork that sits alongside our favourite albums? Do the visuals do justice to the music? Do they tell a story? Do they add meaning or just look good?
Presenting our favourite album covers…
EZRAThe artwork for 808s & Heartbreaks deals mostly with what the title implies. It features a deflated heart made from a balloon. The texture of the balloon really adds to the emotion that Kanye is trying to put across. Using high contrast between the heart and the background colour really make the subject matter stand out, whilst the minimalist sans serif had been used as a subtle addition not to take away from the message. The colours on the left side of the album nod to Kanye’s previous album, Graduation, which I think is a really nice addition. Overall, the artwork takes a minimalistic approach which ties in with the feel of the album.
CHELSIEThis cover is beautiful - I love the contrast between the natural and the digital. It’s delicate and soft but loud and disruptive at the same time.
GARETHI love this one, it’s nice and simple and the colours have a celestial, out of this word vibe.
ALICEThe artist is both a musician and graphic designer, so his design and music work in partnership. I love the clean, simplistic feel to the design. The eight tracks are represented by eight different bars across the circle, which, through their colours, resemble a kind-of sunrise/sunset. There is no text or title included on the cover – just a small symbol made of dots. The artist himself said he felt typefaces are ‘loaded with meaning; they imply a time period’. The lack of information means the viewer has to recognise the album by colour and emotion rather than a name.
EMILYThis is one of the most powerful and important albums of all time (IMHO!), so the artwork has to connect with the music on another level. To me, it does so perfectly. The old school desk plays on the title of the album, whilst the textures and rawness reflect Lauryn Hill’s unique vocals. Most importantly, it embodies the powerful juxtapositions expressed in the album itself - between adolescence and adulthood, vulnerability and fearlessness, softness and strength, and simplicity and detail.
JAMESI have the same problem when I choose an ice cream - it’s almost impossible to pick an absolute favourite and since I find that the artwork is intrinsically linked to the music itself, it depends on my mood. With so many options to choose from I decided against the iconic classics of Pink Floyd’s - Wish you were here and Fleetwood Mack’s - Tango in the Night and picked Glass Animals - Zaba (Artwork by Boat Studio and Micah Lidberg) The artwork is deeply complex and created with a rich jungle-themed colour palette but is intriguing to study. I find that I notice something new within the illustrations every time I look at it. The typography contrasts beautifully with the background and contains tiny eyes within the letterforms which gives the impression of being watched from behind the jungle vines. The artworks seems to sum up the music perfectly and one wouldn’t be the same without the other.
ABIOkay it’s a bit obvious but, The Velvet Underground & Nico. The Warhol printed banana is so iconic in its own right that you instantly associate it with The Velvet Underground and that album without even having to see any printed text. It forms its own brand and persona, and it’s associations with Warhol’s artistic style speaks heavily for the band and the music within.
JOESo it's super solid to pick my favourite cover artwork. I've chosen Faithless: Reverence. The image tells a story and hints at an underlying complexity. It's dark, honest and literal and perfectly represents the music. But more importantly, for me, the music itself reminds of a time in my life and the beginnings of a love for edm.
SAMThis was a pretty difficult thing to choose, but I think I am settled with “The Afterman: Ascension” by Coheed and Cambria. With the lead singer of Coheed & Cambria, Claudio Sanchez, also being the writer of the comic book series “The Amory Wars” (which runs parallel to the Album’s songs), I feel like the art work pulls that comic book vibe across to its musical twin. The colours used, and the use of the abstract artwork, get across the genre of the songs in the album whilst also being extremely eye-catching. Overall, I just think it looks a bit great for a very awesome album. Also, I am a huge fan of album covers with no writing; the album is distinguished only by its unique artwork, which is what Coheed & Cambria have done here, too.