Published Jul 01, 2005It's not the first and won't be the last book on album cover art, but Pablo Yglesias' Cocinando: Fifty Years of Latin Album Cover Art is one of the best. Most aspire to be great coffee table books, rounding up hilarious design choices, but this one is straight from the heart. Cocinando weaves together the socio-political impulses behind design concepts and Yglesias brilliantly succeeds in finding common themes within the depictions of identity among the Latin diaspora. As one would expect, these designs range from caricature to psychedelic to down home, but they're all bound to stimulate one's curiosity. This is top notch criticism of music and design, yet the inspiration behind Celia Cruz's gravity-defying hairstyles remains a mystery.