In a dire year for album covers, there were little to choose from. Madonna, Sugababes, and Girls Aloud all produced horrible cover images for their records. Alison Goldfrapp dressed up as Mary Kate Olson in pirate gear, while Uh Huh Her didn't even bother.
Here are a few that actually caught my eye and earned a second glance:
My favorite sleeve of the year was for a random hits collection by John Foxx. Everything is right about this, most notably the beautiful silhouette of Foxx's face and his Hedi Slimane-esque scrawny frame. Mert and Marcus could not have shot it better. For the curious, Foxx was the original lead singer for Ultravox and, at 61, he still looks good today.
Vincent Frank is THE voice to listen for in 2009 and his artwork is equally stirring; it took me ages to actually see his face in this collage. This EP has the most beautiful packaging of the year. To utter a phrase said so many times before, I'd love it more in 12".
You have to love Fleet Foxes, a Seattle band, for bringing the Netherlands to the Stereogum crowd. When I first saw this, I thought, "Bruegelish." But it IS Bruegel and there's a whole short story going on in the image. The band themselves are scraggly enough to be transplants from the 1500's.
I admire Solange for her off-center efforts with this album's sound and artwork. She must have been seriously baked throughout the proceedings. But I mean that in the nicest way.
I am not the first person to notice that M83's album, which should be called The Breakfast Club, features what looks like the cast of a John Hughes movie. My own archetype is not really represented here, as I was the Dweeb in Docksiders.
I love this image because it's actually a metaphor for the highwire act Take That balances, caught between being a nostalgia act and producing new music that advances them beyond their pervy-tween roots. Aside from that, it's just aesthetically pleasing and wee Mark Owen provides the necessary subliminal question about receding hairlines.
Mystery Jets, provocative and pretty.
Cyndi Lauper harkens back to her debut album, but with more expensive shoes.
None of these touch the genius covers for 2007. Let's hope for better next year.