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The 17 best album covers of 2015

The album cover is not dead and this year is proof of that. 

makhadoz

Album covers are an essential part of music.


A great album cover can take an ok album and make it memorable.


Also the cover defines and sets the mood for what you can hear on the record itself.


Like it or not we will definitely judge an album by its cover.


Here is a selection of some of the best sleeves from 2015 and why we love them. 


Comment below and let us know what you think of our list. 

drizzy cover

Drake: If you’re reading this it’s too late

It’s rare to have an album cover have the kind of cultural impact this had. The meme’s it inspired were absolutely but also it was cryptic that is part of what made it effective. 

makhadoz

Riky Rick: Family values

South African artists don’t put in a lot of effort behind their covers and this is evidenced by Makhado being the only South African artist on our list. This cover got a lot of flak for being a lot like Game’s artwork but that is just a reference and Makhado executed the idea better. The clarity of the picture and the font used add to this. Above that the cover does something important in that it puts a rare image of a responsible black father into the public space. 

🕊 Official art to @kingpush's #DarkestBeforeDawn. 📸: @fabienmontique #DEC18TH #Donda #GOODMusic 🕊

A photo posted by Def Jam Recordings (@defjamrecords) on

Pusha T: Darkest before the dawn

Push is building a catalogue of iconic covers, this one is no exception. The emphasis is beauty in a dark context. His collaborations with the good folks over at Donda just work.  

Cover #kidcudi

A photo posted by Kid Cudi ☁️ (@officialindicud) on

Kid Cudi: Speeding bullet 2 heaven

This cover is as trippy as the music and the artist himself.

A perfect day to listen to #Mural 4/20 #TetsuoAndYouth

A photo posted by Lupe Fiasco - Bogglin' Giblets (@lupefiasco) on

Lupe Fiasco: Tetsuo & Youth

One of the high points of Lupe’s slept on release is the mural that graces it’s cover. In an age where image is everything, Lupe not being on the cover of his album and using an abstract but beautiful piece of modern art is a strong statement. 

king of anxiety

Petite Noir: King of anxiety

Never has an album cover matched an album title so closely. The beautiful photography shows off the melanin at work in on this man.

manson

Marlyn Manson: The pale emperor

This album saw Manson release some of his freshest material in years but also the cover made you take a second look. It wasn’t too needy or provocative but this image definitely catches the eye. 

suburbs

Fall out boy: American beauty/American Psycho

The title for this album references two very late twentieth century movies. The image captures this loss of innocence and juxtaposes the light and dark side without actually overtly using dark and bright lighting. 

compton

Dr Dre: Compton

This image of Compton and overlooking LA is powerful. It shows that this is a small part of the city but also that from that vantage point the whole world seems available to you. The inverse Hollywood-sign style text is also a nice touch. 

earl

Earl Sweatshirt: I don’t like s**t I don’t go outside

Sometimes simplicity is the best way to go. The statement made in text is definite and it sets the tone for what you hear on the record. 

twiggy

FKA twigs : m3ll155x

The greatest photoshop job of all time.

tyler

Tyler the creator: Cherry bomb

What makes this album work is that even though it has not tittle in front it is distinctly Tyler and you don’t need to be told it’s linked to him. 

#ANTi #coverart @roynachum

A photo posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

Rihanna: Antii

Not only is this a beautiful piece of conceptual pop art by Roy Nachum the cover is also a departure for RIRI. This is the first time that she is not on the sleeve of her own record and that shows a new confidence in her music. Also the red just a perfect colour for this. 

VINYL DROPS NEXT WEEK

A photo posted by The Internet Official Page (@theinternetmusic) on

The Internet: Ego death

There is something nostalgic about the idea of a group photo, the fullness of this cover is part of its appeal, the colour palette is another part of the appeal. Also the look on Syd’s face is everything. 

Kendrick Lamar: To pimp a butterfly

An instant classic deserves a great cover and K dot delivered with this. The cover speaks directly to themes reflected in the music such as angst, black male rage and disenfranchisement. The cover is very confrontational and that is deliberate. 

25 out November 20th

A photo posted by @adele on

Adele: 25

What makes this cover work is that it continues a theme in Adele’s album covers as they all have portraits of her. But because there is nothing but her face the image is even more affective because it’s all you focus on, especially those eyes. 

jcole

J cole: Revenge of the dreamers

Nobody knows what it means but it’s provocative.

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