Never judge an album by its cover

hey say to never judge a book by its cover, and the same goes for music albums. When listening to music, you probably don’t care about cover art, but it can have an effect on the tone of the music.

In the case of albums like “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath and “Freeze Frame” by J. Geils Band, these album covers are iconic but do not reflect the feel/theme to the album. The songs on these albums have a different feel from the album cover; “Paranoid’s’’ cover art doesn’t reflect the anxious feel of the music, while “Freeze Frame” does not reflect the fun nature of the album. This could influence either a person’s first exposure to the album or the overall feel of the album in a significant way that could make the cover irrelevant.

Some album covers are just unusual looking, such as “Diamond Dogs” by David Bowie and “News of the World” by Queen. “Diamond Dogs” is difficult to comprehend, what is in the back behind David Bowie? Demons? The aforenamed diamond dogs? It’s strange. “The News of the World” paints a more horrifying and unnerving picture; it depicts a giant robot picking up the remains of the band members. The cover is off-putting and unusual to see from a band with album covers such as “A Day at the Races” and “A Night at the Opera”, two very consistent and visually pleasant covers.

There are also cases of odd graphic design, such as the album “Wolf” by Tyler, The Creator. Despite the legendary status of this album, the cover art is confusing, to say the least. It looks similar to something you would see in a beginner computer art class, it’s empty and void of substance. In a similar vein, “Life of Pablo” looks like it was made about a minute in MSPaint. The art for the album is a stark contrast compared to some of Kanye’s other album covers. It just doesn’t look good. The songs on the album contrast in comparison to the album art, it’s subverting expectations in a moment where subverting expectations is irrelevant.

In all seriousness, these album covers don’t necessarily reflect how good the album is. They simply display a view of the album to an outsider’s perspective. So if you see that scraggly drawn album cover sitting in the hip-hop section of a music store, buy it. You might find a new favorite artist.