There are other categories too, ones that Oasis aren’t up for and I have to make decisions about those as well, but I usually feel I can throw weight behind something—best website is Bebo, best venue is the O2 and so on. The one category that makes me worry is the one for Best Album cover as they’re all cheap, nasty designs with little obvious care taken. The NME consistently looks awful too though, like a hip Local Authority drugs pamphlet that tries to connect with da kids in trouble on their own level. There may be a connection.
Here are the nominations:
We Are Scientists – Brain Thrust Mastery
Seems like if you were a jokey New York band with an album concept about being self-help gurus you might make the album cover look like a self-help book or CD right? Instead, go for truth in advertising and show yourselves sleeping, like most listeners will be before the end of the last song.
Guillemots – Red
The cover of Red looks kind of thing that Storm Thorgerson would knock off for the second single from a Mars Volta album. But with a logo designed by a year ten student during a boring maths lesson. The hey-look-life-is-a-complex-thing-just-like-our-music-alright ball of twine is a motif reminiscent of the world’s crappest Rubik’s Cube from the front of the last Elbow album or this classic from Biffy Clyro. Still, Red by King Crimson has a shitty cover too and that’s a fantastic record, so maybe not all is lost for the ‘Mots.
The Killers – Day & Age
The NME doesn’t seem to realise that the only designer allowed to get backslaps for lazy Photoshop filter use is Peter Saville.
Muse – HAARP
Has there ever been a live album with a great cover? Off the top of my head I say no. There’s barely ever been a great live album. Wikipedia informs us that “the album is named after the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, of which vocalist Matthew Bellamy (known for his interest in global conspiracies and the New World Order conspiracy which influences the band's music) holds suspicion.” Citation needed. HFAARP, then.
The Cure – 4:13 Dream
The Cure are this years recipients of the Godlike Genius award, so get to have a pity nom in another category too. Since no-one, not even whoever hawked it up, could think that this is a good cover it might look like the NME having a sly dig at the current state of the certified genii. This theory is blown out of the water by the rest of the covers being equally grim however.