Five Best and Worst Album Covers of 2011

The actual artistry of the album cover has been making a comeback. Of course, over the years, the cheesy head shot has gradually (for the most part) faded away and been replaced by, well, art. Go figure. Anyhow, 2011 was a particularly good year for the album cover. Well, there were a few examples where the art in question was more headache-inducing than awe-inspiring, but let's start with the positive.

Cerebral Ballzy, s/t

Keep it simple. That's my motto and no band understands more than Brooklyn's Cerebral Ballzy. This skate punk five-piece has a great name, a snotty attitude and an album cover that screams DIY cool. Plus, the drummer's name is Crazy Abe.

Iron & Wine, Kiss Each Other Clean

Trippy, like folk music in Haight-Ashbury circa 1969.

Vessels, Helioscope

This looks like the cover of a Jules Verne novel. Plus, the album was recorded in Dallas and produced by (who else?) John Congleton.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra, s/t

Hailing from Portland, Oregon and New Zealand, the music of Unknown Mortal Orchestra is as creepy and intriguing as this album cover.

Eddie Vedder, Ukulele Songs

Hate the music. Love the cover. Any album with a typewriter is cool with me.

Five Worst

Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto

This is pretentious mess. The album cover is as well.

The Strokes, Angles

There's just too much going on here, like a bad bar graph gone horribly astray.

Tom Waits, Bad As Me

Here's hoping this was a self-portrait. And the fun-house effect is so passé. Good music, though.

The Beastie Boys, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

God, I have a headache.

The Cars, Move Like This

What the hell happened to the days of Candy-O? Now it's this mish-mash of colors and textures that looks like a 3rd grader patched it together.

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Darryl Smyers
Contact: Darryl Smyers