Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: Welcome to the first-ever edition of “Judged by Its Cover”, a round up of the week’s worst in album cover art! Every Tuesday, a brand new load of albums get unceremoniously dumped onto Rdio for eager audiophiles to peruse.
While most people might only get as far as the first few rows of familiar albums , I routinely scroll all the way to the very end – music’s seedy depths where travellers should come armed with a sense of humour and an extremely short memory.
As any good adventurer knows, the mustiest, crap-smelling caves are usually where the real treasures are hidden. Without further adieu, here’s this week’s selections:
#5: Un Mariachi En Altos De Chavón by Ana Gabriel
Arriba, muchachos! Somewhere a Mexican angel is missing it’s sombrero. The gratuitous lens flare really knocks this one out of the park. Up until now I’d never come across a hat I needed sunglasses to look at; this thing’s got more under-glow than a 18 year old’s Integra. Without any clear light source, the sombrero assaults your eyeballs with more reflective glitter than a Ke$ha music video.
Come to think of it, maybe the hat IS the light source, casting its magnificent aura haphazardly in all directions. The rose inconspicuously chillin’ in the physics-defying shade was also a nice touch.
How It Sounds: Your mom’s taco Tuesday, now with three times the rolled “R’s”.
#4: Te lo do’ io il Brasil (Cantabrasil) – Various Artists
Lord have mercy – where’s the nearest eyewash station? This is what I imagine taking a peek into the bride of Frankenstein’s change room would be like. I swear somebody handed me this picture on the streets of Vegas ten years ago.
This one’s got it all – the nostalgia of grainy photography, a surprising amount of nudity and a font ripped straight from the pages of an 80′s colouring book. You’ve got to give this woman credit though, she’s more creative with a scarf than most people are with an entire set of clothing.
How it Sounds: This album pulls the ultimate bait n’ switch on you – despite the racy cover, it kicks off with an endearing duet between what I’m assuming is a 10 year old boy and his Dad. I wish I could tell you more, but I completely lost interest after that.
#3: Mobb Funk by Reese Loc
Look out kids, it’s REESE LOC and he’s here to teach you all the proper way to take a dump!
Good ol’ Reese must’ve taught that to the artist, because some how he forced out this gargantuan pile of crap. With fonts pulled straight from the Microsoft Word ’97 and a scene sewn together from 3 separate photographs, this is a veritable collage of suck. Granted, it’s a well-loved rap aesthetic for rappers to “get low” in front of their “whips”. I can only assume Reese isn’t exactly making paper, because the muscle car behind him is somehow faker than he is. I would’ve loved to be in the room during the brainstorming session for this one:
“Yo Reese, let’s snap a cover shot of you crouchin’ all hood-like in front of your car!”
“Dude, I drive a Ford Fusion.”
“Ain’t no thang tho – we’ll photoshop ya’ll a new ride.”
“Aw yeah! And make sure you chrome it up, too!”
“Homie, we gon’ have that lens flare ON LOCK!”
The result: an MS Paint version of Pimp My Ride. The Willy-Wonka-esque chrome lettering on the bottom is the cherry sitting atop this enormous steamer.
Parental Advisory: Looking at this album will make your kids bad at art.
How it Sounds: Pretty funkin’ awful, though I got a laugh when Reece tried to rhyme “mandatory” with “temporary”. Ahhhh, literature. Judging by the line up of featured guests, this Reese guy knows a lot of Ron’s and at least two Mac’s. Heck, he’s not even the only “Reece” on the album. I can only assume “Do-Shitty” was the instruction given to the (I’m using the title loosely) cover artist.
#2: Urlaub auf da Wiesn (Isarrider) by Roland Hefter
Roland Hefter, you are one creepy dude.
This is the kind of album cover that makes you revisit your lunch. I’m not sure what the worst part is – the Giligan’s Island cap, the deliberate attention brought to his “Single-Socke”, the pedo-stare or the pubic hair sneakily peeking out from his hands.
Nope, definitely that last part.
How it Sounds: Sorry, you just don’t hit “play” on an album like this.
#1 Absolute Unbreakable by Amrit Bains
Holy pole-vaulting priest, this is HARD AS BALLS! Whether it’s his callous disregard for grammar or the searing hot wall of flames behind him, Amrit Bains proves he means business with the most intimidating artwork I’ve seen since Conan the Barbarian.
What’s scarier than three overweight triplets dressed like twin rambo’s and a retired Indiana Jones posing in front of a hyper-realistic inferno? Trick question sucker, the answer is NOTHING.
I especially like his body language in the centre frame – “That’s not a knife! This is a knife!”
How it Sounds: The best way to appreciate this is to just watch it for yourself.
This is a song about how a cigar-smoking man tries to kill “Dr. Amrit Bains” (no idea what he got his doctorate for – but we can safely assume it wasn’t dance). He wants him dead for being “noisy, rude, arrogant – and in plain words, a pain in the ass” – them’s fightin’ words! He sends off a feeble old man and a few of his friends from the senior’s home to deal with Amrit by stabbing him in the heart, spewing raspberry syrup everywhere and totally ruining his nice bedsheets.
Amrit’s response, of course, was to tear the knife out immediately (watch in amazement as it transforms into a microphone! SPECIAL EFFECTS!), throw on some fatigues and compose this bumpin’ club jam before slaughtering them all.
And that’ll do it for this week – thanks for reading!