In the world of fashion, imagery is just as important as the designs itself. In the world of music, imagery is just as important as the sound. Since its beginning, an album cover has always been more than just a simple photograph–rather the visual embodiment of the music. The album artwork will long remain a symbol of creative expression and statement of our time.
With that said, we present some of our favorite album covers of all time. Predictable? No? Inspiring? Yes.
Diana Ross| BLUE
SOUL: Fuck if looks could kill; if only eyes could talk. She’s saying, “bitch all I need is face!” The blue saturation could’ve been any color. Her face is so telling–loud yet silent.
A.JAMAR: And this is why Ms. Ross is the diva of all divas. THIS is what making a moment your own is all about. Some of the new girls should take note.
Tokio Hotel| HUMANOID
SOUL:There’s a little bionic robot in all of us, a little fantasy or matrix. This image tells me I’m not alone. To be a human is to be non-human in many ways.
A.JAMAR: This is what thinking outside of the box is all about. With a simple glance of this, you know that Tokio Hotel is not your typical band. In theory, album covers should be just as loud as your music is and this is a perfect demonstration of what that means.
Toni Braxton |TONI BRAXTON
SOUL: The decade of the 90’s brought some of R&B’s best artist and sounds. Toni Braxton’s debut was explosive for all the right reason. This cover captures the 90’s in only a way Ms. Braxon could.
A.JAMAR: Toni, Toni, Toni. She owns every song she sings and apparently every photo she takes. When an artist releases their debut album, they are supposed to make a strong statement of who they are and Toni did this effortlessly.
SOUL: An imperfect album cover for an imperfect artist can only equal perfection. The fact that she designed this herself not only makes this beyond compare but makes M.I.A. a renegade.
A.JAMAR: The main reason for why I love M.I.A. so much is because she is never subtle–musically, artistically and definitely in the case of this album cover. M.I.A. always comes ready to destroy and conquer.
SOUL: There is something many desire but lack. Artistry is something many feel they have but so lack. Talent is something so many speak of but know nothing about. This cover is soul, artistry, talent. Epic, legend, timeless.
A.JAMAR: This cover says so much without saying much at all. Mr. Davis rises from the darkness to deliver his purpose. This cover is one that is incapable of being forgotten.
A. JAMAR: Artistic, bare, raw and free–just like the album itself. There are no inhibitions, pretenses or qualms about satisfying expectations; the album cover celebrates Christina’s liberation and bold entrance into womanhood. Classic art for a classic album.
SOUL: This cover broke new ground. I often feel Christina is underrated and not as revered as she should be. She’s a fucking artist. This cover comes form a place we all can relate to. V I S I O N A R Y
A.JAMAR: Without being connected to the music, the cover could stand on its own as an artistic commentary on the busy, chaotic and downward-spirlawing current world. More than anything, the cover speaks volumes to Prince’s strong artistry and creative vision.
A.JAMAR: The music was hard-hitting, fresh and innovative. The album cover was bold, loud and commanding. Together, Janet strived to claim independence and make her presence known. She succeeded at both. This album cover commemorates the moment that solidified Janet’s place in music history.
SOUL: Miss Jackson informed the world that she’s here. The red combined with the classic 80′s styling is as epic now as it was then.
A.JAMAR: At this time in his career, Kanye had reached devastating personal lows. Creatively, he was at his peak. The choice to leave text from the cover strengthens the morbidity and despair expressed through the deflated and broken heart. It’s unique, expressive and as always, genius.
SOUL: Many of Mr. West album covers make a bold statement, but thats what we’ve come to expect from him. This was left for him and right for us. It was a moment where it was less about his ego and more about his music. The symbolism is incredible.
A.JAMAR: A big, dripping open mouth against a hot pink background is interesting in itself. But what makes this iconic album art is the fact that it is authentically 70′s in every way, with the strong artistic and sexual freedom that oozes from it.
SOUL: I agree with everything said above. This image is what dreams are made of. The 70′s were an era of more, more, and more. Sassy, sexy, and suggestive.