Music School

    Top 10 Album Covers of 2017 - Why They Connect With People

    Tyler, the Creator - Flower Boy

    Music has always been a form of expression between rhythms, lyrics, instruments, and so on. It doesn't end there, though.

    Album covers can add an entire extra layer to an album. Color schemes can trigger album covers in your mind, they can be random, they can add to the overall meaning of an album, and some of them become iconic over time.

    Popularity helps push album covers into the public eye, but even some indie album covers have taken the internet by storm.

    Let's take a look at the top 10 album covers from 2017.

    Album Covers will be listed in order of release date.

     

    1. Migos - Culture

    Migos - Culture

    Released: January 27th

    The three-piece group from Georgia released Culture, their second studio album. The album cover is a collage of traditional imagery such as flowers and architecture and Atlanta, Georgia based representation.

    Against the black backdrop, the images spark and jump off the cover and mix fluidly together. The cover was designed by Stole Stojmenov.

     

    2. Thundercat - Drunk

    Thundercat - Drunk

    Released: February 24th 

    Drunk is Thundercat's third studio album.

    The cover has a definite 70s, throwback quality that certainly catches your eye. The actual shot used for the cover was taken in Flying Lotus's pool. The vinyl edition carries extra sleeves with art design by Thundercat's friend, Atlanta Illustrator Zack Fox.

     

    3. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy

    Father John Misty - Pure Comedy

    Released: April 7th

    Father John Misty, also known as Josh Tillman, released this album discussing a variety of topics such as fame, politics, aging, and social media.

    Created by cartoonist Edward Steed, Pure Comedy's album cover can offer a new perspective every single time you visit it. His social satire targets education, romance, politics, advertising and more. For an interview with Steed about the album cover, click here.

     

    4. Kendrick Lamar - Damn

    Kendrick Lamar - Damn

    Released: April 14th

    In the last half-decade, Kendrick Lamar has seen a significant rise to relevancy, and DAMN is no exception. While the cover is not flashy, it has been a beacon for social media and meme-creation, and any social response draws massive attention.

    Graphic designer, Vlad Sepetov, defends the album cover stating, "I'm incredibly proud of this cover. I sort of bucked a lot of what my teachers taught me. I wanted to make something loud and abrasive."

     

    5. Feist - Pleasure

    Feist - Pleasure

    Released: April 28th

    Pleasure was Feist's first album release since 2011. The contrast on the album cover between the beautiful clothes and dress versus the dark sky resemble the give-and-take tone of the album.

    Feist explains, "I titled the album Pleasure like I was planting a seed or prophecizing some brightness. The experience of pleasure is mild or deep, sometimes temporal, sometimes a sort of low grade lasting, usually a motivator.

    The flower displayed vibrantly in the album art is Bougainvillea.

    6. Lil Yachty - Teenage Emotion

    Lil Yachty - Teenage Emotion

    Released: May 26th

    Teenage Emotion is Lil Yachty's debut album. It features a movie theatre scene with Lil Yachty surrounded by young teenagers. Just in one still-shot, Lil Yachty can encapsulate so many ranges of teenage life and the idea of embracing who you are.

    Lil Yachty explains, "I wanted to have all these aspects of teenage life... I've never seen two guys kissing until high school. I've never seen albino kids until high school, I've never seen emo kids until high school."

     

    7. SZA- CTRL

    SZA - CTRL

    Released: June 9th

    CTRL is SZA's debut studio album.

    The cover art displays SZA relaxing outside among various computer monitors. The peacefulness of SZA and her environment juxtaposed with the destroyed monitors offers insight into her album. She discusses views on technology and social media's relation to human life.

     

    8. Lorde - Melodrama

    Lorde - Melodrama

    Released: June 16th

    Melodrama is Lorde's second studio album, appearing four years after her debut album Pure Heroine. The artist Sam McKinniss painted this beautiful, blue-lit cover for her album.

    In an interview with McKinniss, he divulged that when working with Lorde there were, "some youthful, nighttime attitudes she was really chasing after and really trying to get into the songs."

     

    9. Tyler, the Creator - Flower Boy

    Tyler, the Creator - Flower Boy

    Released: July 21st

    Flower Boy is Tyler, the Creator's fourth studio album. This album cover overs the surreal imagery of Tyler standing in a field of flowers with large bees flying around him, one of them covering his face. With the assistance of Eric White, this album art has amazing color and aesthetics. 

    White exclaims that the bee covering Tyler's face is, "a good way to establish tension in the image." 

     

    10. Vic Mensa - The Autobiography

    Vic Mensa - The Autobiography

    Released: July 28th

    The Autobiography is Vic Mensa's debut album. Similar, but not quite to the extent of Pure Comedy, you could spend a significant time deciphering the meanings surrounding the room. It also speaks to how an artist can be in disarray but still find time to work on their craft.

    From hidden codes on the fridge to tags on his sign, Mensa explains his album cover was inspired by Malcolm X's Autobiography.

     

    What album covers did we miss? Which covers would make your top 10?

    Let us know below.

    The creativity and opportunity to make an album cover is a fun part of the music process, but most important of all is to develop and grow your musical talent.

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