Features Music 2007: A Year In Review

Music: 2007: A Year In Review

Quick Links: Top 5 Shows, Top 5 Long Time Coming Records, Top 5 Singles That Should Never Be Played Again, Top 5 Reissues, Top 5 Records Missed In 2006, Top 10 7"s, Top 5 Solicitations On Myspace, Guitar Hero III: SPB Expansion Pack, Top 5 Albums Of 2007 Not Reviewed By SPB, Top 5 Atrocities Of Music, Worst Cover Art Of 2007

Worst Cover Art Of 2007

2007 has been another year of ridiculous album artwork. In the several years of writing this list, I have found myself despairing at the lack of imagination, originality, design talent, judgement for aesthetically pleasing art, amongst a multitude of other failures. I had hoped that this year, in response to my annual critical whirlwind, the game would have been stepped up by bands and designers everywhere, but it was not to be. Without further ado, witness (just some of) the worst album art of 2007.

Angels & Airwaves - I-Empire

What?

As if last year's joke of a cover wasn't bad enough, it seems Tom Delonge and co want to disrupt our notions of what depths an album cover can sink to even more. Is it just me or are you expecting Luke and Leia to make an appearance in the background of this Star Wars-aping artwork? The kid on the bike at the front is almost out of E.T. too, completing the wholesale ripoff of my favourite childhood movies. The best part is that, Christ-like, Tom's face is the most prominent. Also, the dude on the left looks like Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park. Is Dr. Ian Malcolm a member of this band? Angel from Buffy is on the right too.

Coconut Records - Nighttiming

Ignoring my mildly OCD regarding off-centre photographs, this one is just ... wrong. Bad Photoshop jobs aside, this just smacks of fantasy. At what point did Coconut Records check into this hotel? Before or after seeing the giant eye poking through the rear wall? Like some perverse Gulliver figure, the eye peeks through, probably hoping to catch some illicit motel action.

Death Breath - Let It Stink

There are special places reserved in Music Hell for bands who spoof Beatles album covers. The Chili Peppers earned their place with their witty Abbey Road EP, Monty Python did it with The Rutles, and countless other bands have parodied the inimicable Sgt. Pepper's and been confined to the ranks of "...who?" ever since. Normally the inclusion of zombies on an album cover would win the record some points, but in this case it's just weak. Perhaps if they'd been ballsy enough to do a zombified Lennon or Harrison I would have been more impressed. Death Breath, you lose.

Imani Coppola - The Black & White Album

I don't even care if the art reflects the name. How many bands have done albums called Black, White, Grey, etc etc? We don't need another one. Particularly one with the most bland, uninspired, Microsoft Word-esque layout. Come on. Even with a limited colour palette, this could have really gone somewhere.

Linkin Park - Minutes To Midnight

Moody, silhouetted dudes, all looking in different directions. It can only mean one thing: Nu Metal has grown pubes.

Nekromantix - Life Is A Grave & I Dig It

I know these guys have their schtick but... what? The middle dude looks in genuine discomfort, like a colonic irrigation would not go amiss. The entire genre of psychobilly and all the greaser stuff that goes with it never really did anything for me, and when added to the fact that these guys reside in the icier climes of eastern Europe, it's even harder to take them seriously. And just for further nitpicking points, it really bothers me that the "& I Dig It!" part is actually above the preceding words.

Prince - Planet Earth

SPB had better be careful including this image, since Prince decided to sue all his fansites for carrying his images. While the infamous Artist has always been known for his sexual nature, this cover seems to suggest that Prince is being fellated by the entire planet Earth (and based on the placement of the visible countries, it appears to be North America specifically engaging in the fellatio - congratulations!). Either that, or the mysterious one is suggesting that his testicles encompass the entire planet. I'd look shocked too.

Tim Armstrong - A Poet's Life

How many more times do we have to see this image from every Hellcat punk band? We get it, black and white, high-contrast images of dudes with guitars is punx. Now can we get back to other stuff, Tim? Like not making any more rap music.

Blaqk Audio - CexCells

Didn't anyone tell Davey and Jade they printed 'Blaqk' backwards? They spelt it wrong too! I bet someone at the printing plant has a red face now.

Child Abuse - Child Abuse

There aren't even words for this. I couldn't even locate a larger resolution version of this cover because I was reluctant to start a Google Image search for "child abuse". When the band are named thus, I guess we should expect something strange for the artwork. What I did not expect, however, was an almost life-accurate image of Britney Spears. Nobody needs that.

And Finally: What A Good Album Cover Looks Like

Last Minute Fix / Lie And Wait Split

Take note, graphic designers. The musical content of any record is improved a hundredfold if the sleeve features a superhero octopus wrestling a similarly-attired bald eagle. God, just looking at this, I'm wishing there was a comic (or god willing, a real octopus/bald eagle superhero squad) where this sort of thing took place. It's unclear as to who is winning this epic duel, and the plain of combat is difficult to imagine given the octopus's sea-based nature and the obvious difficulties this poses for the eagle. I'm confident it would be a bloody draw, in which all observers would be pulped and destroyed in collatoral damage. Ten out of ten.

(Matt)

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Words by the SPB team on Oct. 16, 2010, 11:05 a.m.

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