Since we started this site, we've spent part of each Tuesday glancing through the list of new album releases for the week. At first, we considered making an earnest attempt review all this new music each week, but to be honest this is a local music site and thus that didn't seem like a great fit.
Still, we felt it was important to at least let folks know what was new out there.
So we've decided that instead of giving reviews with the list each week's top releases, we're going to put our years of art history classes and graphic design training to good use and judge each book (...er, album) by its cover.
We feel album art is crucial part of the album experience that often gets lost in the digital fold these days, and thus we're going to take a fun look at it, providing snap judgements about each album based on its art. Along the way we'll give our own tongue-in-cheek interpretation of what we think the album should have looked like. Hope you enjoy ... please let us know what you think.
Darius Rucker "Charleston, S.C. 1966"
What it says to us: Darius wants to emphasize his southern roots and being from S.C. He is trying build on his success as a country artist with "Learn to Live" and put his Hootie days behind him with a handsomely lit portrait of him in his best "country" shirt beside the Cooper River with the Ravenel Bridge in the background.
Alternate album art: While we appreciate your reinvention as a country artist, you'll never fully outgrow the pop artist you were and live down some of the ridiculous things you did in the past. Sorry, Darius, but you could make 100 platinum albums with a banjo in your hand...you'll still always be Hootie in our minds.
Lil' Wayne "I Am Not A Human Being"
What it says to us: Lil' Wayne is currently serving time on Rikers Island and thus isn't available to give his signature swagger to this ho-hum cover. The album, put out by his manager, basically looks like a glorified mixtape designed by a fan from some stock art on the internet.
Alternate album art: We're glad you've finally admitted it, but you weren't really fooling anyone with that whole "human" act. We've always known you were some sort of dreadlocked alien with an otherworldly ability to convince people to buy albums that weren't that great.
Sufjan Stevens "The Age of Adz"
What it says to us: The album's title is a reference to the apocalyptic artwork of schizophrenic artist Royal Robertson. We don't really get it, but we definitely like the look. It hasn't quite reached the level of hipsterness of Weezer's recent "Hurley" album, but it definitely screams "Hey, look at me, I'm different!"
Alternate album art: What better way to be ironic and prove that you haven't sold out than by completely selling out and posting ads (not Adz) on your album cover.
Other notable releases:
Trapt "No Apologies" (Rock/Metal)
Sister Hazel "Heartland Highway" (Alternative/Rock)
The Band Perry "The Band Perry" (Country)
Belle and Sebastian, "Belle and Sebastian Write About Love" (Indie Pop)
Far East Movement "Free Wired" (Rap/Pop)
Antony and the Johnsons, "Swanlights" (Indie)
Shawn Mullins, "Light You Up" (Folk Rock)
Old 97s, "The Grand Theatre Volume One" (Alt Country)