Published Dec 06, 2011Each year, musicians have to think long and hard about album artwork, lining up covers that perfectly match their musical vision. Whether by photograph, painting, illustration or an amalgam of all of the above, oftentimes the results can be breathtakingly gorgeous. Let's just say that the ones on this list missed the mark by a long shot.
Down below you'll see just some of the head-scratching eyesores that made their way onto store shelves and iTunes libraries in 2011. Be forewarned, while there's no doubt you've caught a peep at some of these turgid monstrosities, it doesn't make the next couple of pages any easier to slug through.
Head to the next page to begin Exclaim!'s Worst Album Covers of 2011:
10. Red Hot Chili Peppers
I'm With You
There doesn't always need to be a linear connection between album title and album artwork, but we're left a little stumped at this one. Is the pill happy to be with that fly? Is there some back story needed to understand this relationship fully? We suppose they're caressing in a way, but we'll chalk this one up as some sort of punk-funk non-sequitur.
The Vagabond Sessions
All D.O.A. needed to put together their latest live set were some pixelated band logos, wickedly janky bubble fonts, '90s-era clip art lightning, and an unknown Washington-based pop punk band to share the blame with.
8. Steve Miller Band
Let Your Hair Down
Yes, the pun is brutal, but there's something all the more infuriating in the fact that they didn't go whole hog and actually substitute "hair" for "hare," as if it were an old Warner Bros. short.
7. New Found Glory
It doesn't take a genius to see that this CMYK-driven eyesore managed to cover up the bulk of the band's promo pic with the strangely coloured grey matter. Way to go, Einsteins.
This looks like someone lacquered a fresh pile of neon-coloured ground beef, or maybe like an enchanted unicorn just copped a frightfully cutesy squat. Either way, this particular gloss drop has us up to our eyeballs in gooey uncomfortableness.
5. Toro Y Moi
Underneath the Pine
There are many out there that find an inextricable erotic correlation between sex and eating. To those people, we give you this beyond extreme close-up shot of Chaz Bundick eating a pomelo grapefruit. We dare you to try and get aroused looking at the mangled innards of the fruit sloppily decorated around dude's ratty teenage mustache.
4. Screeching Weasel
Carnival of Schadenfreude
This one's on this list just for its sheer laziness. Considering the leather-jacketed weasel logo has been kicking it since 1988's Boogadaboogadaboogada!, you'd think that the Chicago pop punks would spice up the scene just a little bit. Even Iron Maiden's Eddie got makeovers, from his original murderous rocker form to a becoming a space assassin. Perhaps Screeching Weasel leader Ben Weasel was too busy writing lyrics blaming everyone but himself for punching that lady out at South by Southwest to pony up for some proper art direction. 3. Metallica and Lou Reed
While not as frightful as the bizarre mashup of clunky, bro-metal riffs and spoken word mumblings itself, Lulu's cover star, a limbless mannequin, forever stares at us like a post-modern Mona Lisa, almost as if saying with a smirk, "I'd turn this off myself, but... you know."
2. Arctic Monkeys
Suck It And See
It should be a written rule that your artwork should not feature the word "suck" on it, especially when your layout is barebones to the max, featuring nothing but four words pasted dead centre onto a blank background. The cover might be inspired by The Beatles (aka the White Album), but it's missing all of that classic's subtleties. Sorry, dudes, we saw this and thought it sucked almost instantly.
1. Lady Gaga
Born This Way
There's so much wrong here, from the chromed-out, sub-grade metal fonts to the fact that, well, Lady Gaga has apparently turned into one of the Gobots, that this stark and scary album cover had to grab the top spot. The weird, high-glamour horror shoot for Born This Way: The Remix was equally bizarre, but Gaga's melted-flesh costume came across cooler than this highway-bound monstrosity.