The cover for the American Idol Season 9 compilation album has been revealed. I hate to admit it, but I have already forgotten the names of the contestants who have been voted off. There's blonde girl, brunette girl, Mr. Adorable and the guy with the tattoo on his neck. The album is available for presale and will be released on May 11, 2010.
April 2010 Archives
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Pop music legend Cyndi Lauper has revealed the cover art for her forthcoming album Memphis Blues. The album is scheduled to be released on June 22, 2010.
The cover features a photograph of Lauper reclining on stage and holding a vintage microphone. The image has been tinted pink (rather than blue). It is a very classy album cover that reminds me of something Eartha Kitt would have done in her prime.
Singer and songwriter Janelle Monáe has revealed the cover for her forthcoming album The ArchAndroid this week. The reveal follows the release of the first single from the album, Tightrope (right). The music video for the single has been quite popular on YouTube for several weeks.
The cover for the single has the look of a street poster, similar to the recent Mr. Brainwash album cover for Madonna's Celebration. I was surprised that the artwork for the album is completely different.
The cover for TheArchAndroid features a heavily rendered image of the Monáe with an elborate headdress and a robot costume. It seems that 2010 is the year of the lady robot. We've already seen similar concepts from Christina Aguilera and Erycka Badu. I can't wait to see if Robyn dresses up like a fembot.
If we have to pick a winner for the lady robot concept, Badu has to get the prize. However, Monáe's cover is miles in front of Aguilera's Bionic. If we want to debate who did it first, Monáe appeared on the cover of her 2008 album Metropolis as a lady robot. So, this is really her second whack at the piñata.
The cover art for the first single from Sarah McLachlan's forthcoming album The Laws of Illusion was revealed online today. I do not have a release date for Loving You is Easy. The album is scheduled for release on June 15, 2010. I assume that the single will be released prior to that date. The single was posted on YouTube ealier today.
The cover features a photograph of McLachlan that has been aged and spattered with red and orange spots for an aged look. It may or may not be an indication of what the album covder is going to look like.
Artist and illustrator Marq Spusta has created a number of amazing concert posters, album covers and book illustrations over the past few years. Last year, he did some noteworthy covers for the album Farm by Dinosaur Jr. (right) and the associated singles.
Spusta has a style that is unique and immediately recognizable. When I saw the cover for the forthcoming album Dirty Side Down by Widespread Panic, I knew that it was Spusta's work.
If you want to see more of his work, visit Spusta's website at marqspusta.com.
Love Will Remain, the new single from Sheryl Crow, was written for the documentary film Raw Faith. The film covers two years in the private life of Marilyn Sewell, a minister who considers leaving the pulpit in search of a more fulfilling personal life.
Both the cover art for the single and the video posted on Crow's YouTube channel can best be described as bare bones. The cover features simple typography and no reference to the film. That could be a good thing. The artwork being used to promote the film is kind of cool, but I don't think the image of Sewell in her minister robes (right) would sell a Sheryl Crow single.
The YouTube video is simply the music track and a screenshot of the Facebook page for the film. The film has been screened in Portland and Nashville. Love Will Remain is scheduled for digital release on May 4, 2010.
Once again, Crystal Bowersox gave the best performance on American Idol. Bowersox broke into tears at the end of her version of People Get Ready.
I have uploaded all seven of the single covers for the Top 7 to the AAX gallery. (I also got caught up and uploaded the covers for last weeks Top 9 redux.)
The cover art has been updated for the Top 7. This time, Tim Urban's cover is the same as the other contestants.
I remember the first time I heard Minnie Riperton's Lovin' You. I was riding home on the school bus and the bus driver had the radio turned up. When Riperton hit her memorable high note, everyone on the bus got quiet. No one had ever heard anything quite like it.
Lovin' You appears on Riperton's 1974 hit album Perfect Angel. The single made it to the top of the charts in April 1975. Sadly, Riperton passed away following a battle with cancer in 1979. Many people today are familiar with her daughter Maya Rudolph, who is a cast member of Saturday Night Live.
The photograph used for the cover of Perfect Angel was taken by legendary music industry photographer Barry Feinstein. During his career, Feinstein photographed over 500 album covers for notable artists such as Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, and Miles Davis.
I recall that the photograph of Riperton on Perfect Angel was controversial. She appeared wear a pair of bib overalls without a shirt. She was also holding an ice cream cone that was melting all over her hand. That was considered racy in 1974.
Below are six album covers that were preselected from this week's new releases. The covers were chosen based on Amazon.com sales rank and for their noteworthy designs. Please vote for the album cover that you believe is the best of the bunch.
|Caribou - Swim||Circa Survive - Blue Sky Noise|
|Rufus Wainwright - All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu||Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders - Red Light Fever|
|Glee Cast - The Power of Madonna||AC/DC - Iron Man 2 Soundtrack|
I was browsing Amazon.com today and came across the forthcoming album by former American Idol contestant Bo Bice. The first thing that struck me was that Bice looks exactly like the caveman from those GEICO car insurance commercials (right). What has happened to him?
Those of you who remember Bice from American Idol know that he was known for his long hair. Apparently, he cut most of it off to achieve his new Neanderthal look. I must have missed the news articles a month ago about the haircut.
This is not an attractive look for Bice. Established artists like Willy Nelson and Kris Kristofferson can get away with letting themselves go to seed, but this is only Bice's third album. Not-so-creatively titled 3, it is scheduled to be released on May 18, 2010. Reported to be joining him on the album are Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman and keyboardist A.J. Croce, son of Jim Croce.
The cover art for the forthcoming album by Kylie Minogue was revealed online today. The cover for Aphrodite features a photograph of the pop star wearing a billowing blue gown and a silver breast plate. What is with all of the bizarre hardware that art directors are strapping on female recording artists these days?
We have already seen Minogue do a tribute to Grace Jones' Warhol album covers (right). Perhaps she's trying for the Jean Paul Gaultier look on this one.
The image used for this cover is decent. Minogue's hair looks a bit ratty and I am not sure what the two black hunks of lava rock are supposed to be about. However, it is much better than recent album covers we have seen for artists like Rihanna, Christina Aguilera and Kelis. For those who are raving about this album cover, I would just like to point them toward Sade's Soldier of Love.
Aphrodite is scheduled to be released on July 5, 2010.
The new Devo EP Song Study was released today. It comes with two songs, What We Do and Fresh. Both songs can be purchased individually, but there is a video that only comes with the purchase of the entire EP. It is only $2.99 and definitely worth it. Both songs are sure to make Devo fans more than happy. The video is a hoot. Anyone who has ever been involved with a marketing focus group will be rolling on the floor.
The cover art for the EP is fantastic. It features the classic Devo "flower pot" hat as a fruit bowl in light blue and filled with blue fruit. We got a look at this artwork last week when it appeared as the cover of a special Record Store Day 12" single.
According to our AlbumArtExchange Blog poll, the best album cover for the week of April 13, 2010 is God of Malfunction by The Contrast. The album cover received 34% of the vote. Year of the Black Rainbow by Coheed and Cambria came in second and Congratulations by MGMT was third.
The winning cover features a detail of The Temptation Of Saint Anthony by Salvador Dali. It should be no surprise that a great work of art was voted the best album cover this week.
Come back this evening to vote for the best album cover from among this week's new releases. I predict that one cover will be a clear winner this time.
The cover art for American R&B singer Kelis' forthcoming album Flesh Tone popped up all over the Internet last week. I wrote several weeks ago that if I saw just one more album cover with glitter on it that I would pull my hair out. My scalp has finally stopped bleeding enough for me to write about the cover that pushed me over the edge.
The online comments about this album cover range from raves to jeers. Sadly, I have to put my reaction in the later category. This album cover is an over-designed mess. There isn't any connection between the album's title and the artwork. Then, there is all that silver glitter.
There isn't really anything worth praising about this album cover. Everything from the matching metallic breast plate and helmet that Kelis is wearing to the cheesy 1970s SciFi typography and graphic is difficult to appreciate. Kelis looks like some kind of female Viking space invader from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. This album cover is tacky, has a concept that is disconnected from the title, and makes a beautiful artist look ridiculous.
Flesh Tone is Kelis' fifth studio album. It is scheduled for release on July 6, 2010 (hopefully with a new cover).
Country singer Emily West appeared on the reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice last night and announced that 100% of the iTunes sales from her latest single Blue Sky will be donated to charity. The recipient of the donation will be Lauper's True Colors homeless shelter for LGBT youth in Harlem. Blue Sky was released on January 26, 2010 on the Capitol Records Nashville label.
The music video for the single was posted on West's YouTube channel last week. I did not watch Celebrity Apprentice, but it has been reported that West received a makeover from Cyndi Lauper's team. The cover for the single certainly could have used a little work. West is shown in a photograph holding an umbrella and touching her face like someone who has just been numbed for oral surgery.
Don't forget that tomorrow, Saturday, April 17, 2010, is Record Store Day. I have already posted some of the great exclusive LPs, singles and other items that are available exclusively through participating independent record stores. Here are a few more.
Wilco - Kicking Television: Live in Chicago (4 LP Box Set, 8 Extra Tracks)
The Rolling Stones - Plundered My Soul (Hand Numbered 7" Single)
Gogol Bordello - We Comin' Rougher/Trans-Continental Hustle (7" Single)
John Lennon - Singles Bag (7" Box Set, Individually Numbered)
The album cover for the forthcoming album Up On the Ridge by country artist Dierks Bentley has been revealed. The cover features a black and white photograph of Bentley sitting on a tattered arm chair while strumming a guitar. The cover is a departure from the artist's previous album covers that played up his blond hair and male model looks.
Up On the Ridge is Bentley's fifth studio album. It is scheduled to be released on June 8, 2010.
This déjà vu moment is the result of an album cover that is an obvious tribute. The interesting thing about this is that the Roxy Music album cover was scandalous when it was released 36 years ago. This new version probably won't raise more than a few eyebrows.
Posted by: zeefritz
Here are a few more special releases that will be sold at independent record stores on Record Store Day, Saturday, April 17, 2010.
Hole - Skinny Little Bitch (Record Store Day Vinyl Single)
Infected Mushroom feat. Perry Farrell - Killing Time (Remixes)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Wrecking Ball (Live) [10" Single]
The music video for the prerelease single Make My Heart from Toni Braxton's forthcoming album Pulse (right) debuted yesterday. The most common phrase I have seen used to describe the video is "hot mess" -- and that's not good.
The album is scheduled for release on May 4, 2010. Make My Heart (below) was released in January along with a couple of dance remix versions. The cover art for both the album and the single feature heavily airbrushed portraits of Braxton posing like a department store mannequin. She looks very unnatural and corpse-like on both covers. I like the opalescent fabric of the dress on the album cover, but that vacant stare is really creepy. Maybe she OD'd on Botox.
Below are six album covers that have preselected from this week's new music releases. They have been chosen based on both Amazon.com sales rank and for noteworthy design. Please vote the the cover that you believe is the best of the bunch.
|Coheed and Cambria - Year of the
|The Contrast - God |
|Jeff Beck - Emotion & Commotion||Jason Castro - S/T|
|Jon Oliva's Pain - Festival||MGMT - Congratulations|
Saturday, April 17 is Record Store Day, an event organized to support and encourage the use of independent record stores. It is one day out of the year for independently owned record stores and recording artists to work together help ensure that the unique experience of browsing through stacks of real records is preserved.
To mark the event, special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day. Hundreds of artists in the United States and in various other countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. Events include live performances, cook-outs, body painting, appearances by recording artists, parades, DJ performances and many others. Rock band Metallica officially kicked off Record Store Day at Rasputin Music in San Francisco on April 19, 2008 and Record Store Day is now celebrated the third Saturday every April.
Over the next few days leading up to Record Store Day, I will be posting some of the cool records that are being sold at independent record stores. They include LPs and singles on colored vinyl, picture discs, special artwork and more.
MGMT - Siberian Breaks (Limited Edition 12" Single)
Coheed and Cambria - Guns of Summer (Limited Editon Picture Disc)
Pop group Scissor Sisters have revealed the cover for their forthcoming third studio album Night Work (below). The group has also posted a "sneak preview" of the track Invisible Light on YouTube. Night Life is scheduled for release on June 28, 2010.
The image used for the cover is a 1980 work entitled "Peter Reed" by the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (right). It is a very interesting choice. I will wait and see if this ends up being the final album cover.
Someone asked on the AAX Facebook page whether or not this would be displayed at Walmart. Uh, not a chance. It may as well be the Mapplethorpe self portrait with the whip (Google it ̶ just not at work).
According to our weekly poll, the best album cover for the week of April 6, 2010 is the self-titled album by Slash. The cover won with 48% of the vote. I Learned the Hard Way by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings came in second and Madonna's Sticky & Sweet was third.
The illustration used for the cover is very nice. However, it gets low points for originality from me. We've seen thousands of skulls and cross bones on rock albums. They simply don't impress me, even if they are rendered exceptionally well.
Come back later this evening to vote on this week's new releases. There are a few cool covers in the mix this time. I doubt that there will be a landslide winner.
Vic Mizzy - The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)
Posted by: dfkt
Topp stemning på lokal bar by Casiokids is the first Norwegian-language pop music album to be released in the United States. The title translates into English as "a great vibe at the local bar" and it is currently available as a digital download, with two-CD and two-LP versions being released on June 8, 2010.
There are two versions of the album cover and I am not sure which one goes with the CD versus the LP (there is a language barrier involved). The first version (right) was used for the version of the album that was released in Norway. It features a model with her eye rolled up and tears streaming.
In the more recent version of the cover (below), you can see that the model is wearing a bunny costume. Rather than crying, she is gritting her teeth with her eyes shut tight.
I like both version of the cover. The second one has quite a bit more humor and I think it is the more memorable of the two. The first version would have made a great cover for a single.
American R&B and soul singer-songwriter Macy Gray has released a music video for the first single from her forthcoming album The Sellout. The video for Beauty in the World (right) was directed by Adria Petty, the daughter of rock musician Tom Petty.
According to Neon Limelight, the song was inspired by Gray hearing her daughter's laughter at a time when she was feeling down. The artist was quoted as saying, "I didn't even know what she was laughing at. I thought 'at least she's happy.' And I felt at least I hadn't failed there, because my daughter's happy."
The album art for The Sellout features a photograph of Gray on a stage wearing an elaborate costume that includes taffeta and gold boots. It kind of reminds me of what Annie Lennox did for Songs of Mass Destruction (right) a few years ago. It was a look that worked for Lennox. I am not sure it does the trick for Macy Gray.
The Sellout is Gray's fifth studio album. Her last album was released in 2007 (the same year as Songs of Mass Destruction). The Sellout is scheduled to be released on June 22, 2010. The single is currently available though online stores.
Cyndi Lauper - The Goonies 'R' Good Enough (1985)
Posted by: Mediocrates
I haven't had a déjà vu moment involving a soundtrack album for a long time. I don't think I have ever had one with two soundtracks. These two album covers look as if they were created using the same template.
Various Artists - The Last Song Original Soundtrack (2010)
Aaron Zigman - The Notebook Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2009)
The London-born music producer is best known for promoting British punk and alternative music bands during of the late 1970s and early '80s. He was the manager of the British punk band the Sex Pistols and several other notable bands including Bow Bow Wow and New York Dolls, and gave singer Boy George his first big break in the music business.
In 1983, McLaren released his first solo album, Duck Rock (right). The album included influences from Africa music and American hip-hop. It produced two hit singles, Buffalo Gals and Double Dutch. The cover art for Duck Rock is notable because it is one of only a few that was designed by the late pop artist Keith Haring.
It was Lennon and McCartney week on American Idol and the top nine contestants each took turns butchering my favorite songs. The only one that was decent was Crystal Bowersox' version of Come Together (in spite of the bizarre accompaniment of a digeridoo). My least favorite was Lee DeWyze (right) who had a bagpipe player march down the stairs and torture the audience with that cat-trapped-in-a-stormdrain sound that bagpipes make during Hey Jude. I guess Bowersox and DeWyze are trying to start a trend involving unusual musical instruments. What's next? A harpsichord?
The judges did apologize to Tim Urban for picking on him over the last few weeks. Now, someone needs to explain why the cover art for his singles is different from that of the other contestants.
As usual, I have uploaded all of the single covers to the AAX gallery.
American Idol Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert has released Remixes, a 6 track digital EP containing remix versions of the first two singles from his debut album For Your Entertainment. The Remixes EP will been made available exclusively on AdamOfficial.com on April 9, 2010 and through all other digital service providers on April 13.
The EP contains remixes by popular DJs such as Jason Nevins, Brad Walsh, and Bimbo Jones. It also features Voodoo, a previously unreleased track.
The cover art for the Remixes EP features a portrait of Lambert tinted bright red, with a motion blur and neon typography. It is not similar to the controversial album cover for For Your Entertainment.
Below are six album covers that have been preselected from this week's new releases. They have been chosen based on Amazon.com sales rank and for having noteworthy album cover designs. Please vote for the album cover that you believe is the best of the bunch.
|David Byrne & Fatboy Slim - Here Lies Love||Jakob Dylan - Women and Country|
|Madonna - Sticky & Sweet||Peter Wolf - Midnight Souvenirs|
|Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - I Learned...||Slash - Slash|
The album cover for singer-songwriter Jack Johnson's forthcoming fifth studio album, To the Sea, was recently revealed on most online retail stores. The first single from the album, You and Your Heart (right), was released today.
The album is scheduled for release on June 1, 2010. In an interview with MTV News, Johnson explained the album's title as "a reference to a father leading his son to the sea, with the water representing the subconscious."
Therefore, it makes sense that the album cover features what appears to be a man building a ship. Considering Johnson's description, however, I think I would have included a silhouette of a young boy sitting on the platform near the man. I have created my own version that incudes a boy watching his father work (right).
I still think it is a nice album cover, I am just disaapointed that it isn't closer to Johnson's vision. It is always a challenge for an art director to develop a concept that matches the artist's musical inspiration. Perhaps Johnson did not articulate his idea of a father leading his son to sea.
Instead, the album cover conveys the idea of a solitary life and longing for the sea. The father and son aspect is completely missing. Let me know what you think.
Erykah Badu's New Amerykah Part Two Return of the Ankh was voted the best album cover for the week of March 30, 2010. The album cover won by 50% of the vote. Amy Grant's Somewhere Down the Road and Wu-Massacre by Meth, Ghost & Rae tied for second place, each receiving 17%.
The album cover was created by celebrated rock poster artist Emek. Emek has been the leading designer of concert posters for many years and has designed several album covers as well. So far, New Amerykah Part Two is my favorite album cover illustration of 2010.
Come back this evening to vote on the best album cover from this week's new releases. There isn't a stand out like the Erykah Badu cover this time, so the votes may be close.
The album Easter by the Patti Smith Group is often referred to as "the one with the hairy armpit." Released in March 1978 on Arista Records and produced by the legendary Jimmy Iovine, it was the band's first major commercial success, in large part due to the single Because the Night (right).
Because the Night was co-written by Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith and reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #5 in the British chart. In addition to Because the Night, the album includes the title song and several others with religious imagery. The cover art for the single features a photo of Smith holding her breast.
The controversial photographs were taken by Lynn Goldsmith. It is doubtful that the photographs contributed to the success of the album. The album photo has been parodied numerous times over the years.
Pop singer and former American Idol finalist Clay Aiken has revealed the cover art for his forthcoming album Tried & True. On March 12, 2010, Aiken performing songs from the album during a one night only concert at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh, North Carolina. The concert was videotaped by PBS for a special broadcast due to air this summer.
The album cover has been designed to look like a worn and torn sleeve from a 1960s era jazz LP. It features a portrait of Aiken wearing a white jacket an a new, slicked-over hairstyle. The album cover seems very appropriate considering that tracks include Can't Take My Eyes Off You, What Kind of Fool am I?, Misty, Mack the Knife, Unchained Melody, Suspicious Minds, Crying, Moon River and several other standards.
Janet Jackson released the music video for her track on the soundtrack for the film Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? today. There doesn't appear to be any cover art for the single for Nothing and it is likely that the song will only be available through purchase of the entire soundtrack.
Other artists on the soundtrack include Ziggy Marley and The Weather Girls. The cover art appears to be a square version of the movie poster. The album is scheduled for release on April 27, 2010.
According to a press release, the cover of country singer Jason Aldean's platinum album Wide Open (below) will appear on the hood of Scott Lagasse Jr.'s race car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in Nashville this weekend and again next weekend in Phoenix. Aldean's record label, Broken Bow Records, will be an associate sponsor of the No. 43 Ford Fusion Lagasse will be driving at both events.
I am not a NASCAR fan, so I don't know whether or not it is common to place album art on the hood of race cars. I have not been able to find another example. Typically, the hood is adorned with a corporate logo.