Top Ten Albums of 2010 (& Those Behind the Cover Art)
Back in 2008, I put together a list of my favorite albums of the year based not only on music but also on the overall visuals. I thought it would be interesting to find out who was responsible for the cover art, photographs, and designs. Selections are primarily based on how much I listen to the album and how well the artist’s visuals match the sound. Since I missed 2009, I figured I would bring this tradition back. This list is in alphabetical order because I did not want to rank albums, seeing as there are plenty of other blogs that do that for me.
Without further ado, here are my picks from 2010!
Teen Dream by Beach House
I must admit I never really listened to Beach House before this album, but they won me over. The artwork and DVD companion are imaginatively surreal, and the album itself is glorious. Artwork by Beach House. Layout and cover design by Dustin Summers.
Swim by Caribou
Caribou’s album reminds me of Kenneth Noland’s work entitled Beginning. It seems simple, but underneath there is a precise composition of pop magic.
Design by Matthew Cooper and Jason Evans. Photography by Jason Evans.
History from Below by Delta Spirit
It is hard to believe that I have been listening to Delta Spirit for over four years. This album proves that they will stick around for a little while longer. They also chose a wonderful photo for their cover by Samantha West, who is my Amazon goddess heroine. Seriously, the lady is fierce. Check out her work!
Total Life Forever by FOALS
The cover for Total Life Forever embodies the album’s ethereal soundscapes perfectly. Depending on what version you purchased, you delve into many treasures constructed by FOALS, Tinhead and Dave Ma. I cannot praise this band enough. They are absolutely wonderful! Art Working by Big Active. Band photo by Steve Gullick.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
Banned in the United States, Kanye West’s cover reveals a little too much about his twisted fantasies. Of course, with the debut of “Runaway” we learned the meaning behind Kanye’s beloved Phoenix. This album continues to baffle me, but it is great nonetheless. Illustration by artist George Condo.
High Violet by The National
The National’s cover art is full of twists and turns, which sticks to the thematically tangled album fueled by paranoia and lost love. I have had this album on repeat. For some strange reason, it brings me comfort. Drawing by artist Mark Fox.
Gemini by Wild Nothing
Wild Nothing’s album is nostalgic and dreamy. Whenever I listen to it, I feel like I am stuck in the 80s and a young John Cusack is wooing me with a mix (Oh, come on! I can dream!) Artwork by Joanne Ratkowski.
Honorable Mentions (aka The Albums I Should Have Posted in Regards to Awesome Imagery and/or Greatness but was Too Lazy to do so and Thus Stuck to a Top Ten List)
Business Casual by Chromeo
The Drums (Self Titled)
Plastic Beach by Gorillaz
Surfing the Void by Klaxons
Gorilla Manor by Local Natives
Serotonin by Mystery Jets
Record Collection by Mark Ronson & The Business International
Memphis by Magic Kids
Optimist by New Young Pony Club
Astro Coast by Surfer Blood
Tourist History by Two Door Cinema Club
Contra by Vampire Weekend
King of the Beach by Wavves
Odd Blood by Yeasayer
Gospel of Good Taste