The 25 Sweetest, Snobbiest Album Covers of 2021
You may not even recognize the artists I picked for my top 25 album covers, since smaller artists sometimes put the most effort into making attention-getting album covers.
Sadly, musicians rarely credit the artist of their covers, but when I’m able to, I call out the artist name. In some rare cases it’s actually the artist themselves who made the cover, like in the case of #10’s Darth Sueder VI by AJ Sueder.
I had to rank the covers in some order but I think every single one of these covers is great. So with that, enjoy my favorite 25 albums. Enjoy, I say!
#25: Failure – Wild Type Droid
#24: Exbats – Now Where Were We
#23: Castello Branco – Niska: Uma Mensagem para Tempos de Emergência
#22: Ty Farris – No Cosign Just Cocaine 2
#21: Acid Mammoth – Caravan
#20 – Diablo Swing Orchestra – Swagger and Stroll Down the Rabbit Hole
#19: The Architects – For Those Who Wish To Exist
#18: Udondolo – Urban Village
#17: Ritual Divination – Here Lies Man
#16: Bodies of Water – Is This What It’s Like
#15: MECO – Transmute
#14 – POLYDANS – Roosevelt
#13: Ghett – Conflict of Interest
#12: Fotocrime – Heart of Crime
Hot and dorky in a very French way. Like the movie Le Samouraï:
Much like that vibe, Fotocrime’s cover is lurid and ugly-beautiful. I want to read the graphic novel I wish existed.
#11: Sad Night Dynamite- Sad Night Dynamite
Did human beings submerge an actual functioning Limo to get this picture? Was a picture altered? I can’t know, but it gets the feeling of the album across. “Icy Violence” is the (very Gorillaz inspired) song that really goes along with this cover.
#10: AJ Suede – Darth Sueder VI
AJ Suede does his own covers and he does an incredible job. The cover of Darth Sueder VI just gets everything right. The parental advisory sticker in Japanese Kanji is a particularly slick touch.
#9: Villagers – Fever Dreams
Such a crisp, beautiful image that asks more questions than it answers. All I know is that bear is super fucking magical.
#8: K-Drama – Both Sides of the Blessing
This is easily the best Christian rap album cover I have ever seen. I challenge you to find me a better one. Was it enough to get me to give this album a serious listen? Not yet. But this album cover is working on me.
#7: KEY- BAD LOVE
This ray gun wouldn’t kill Godzilla, but it would stun him.
#6: Logic1000 – In The Sweetness of You
This is like the uncanny valley of food. Sure, someone really made it, but my brain still isn’t convinced. Luminously lit, but I’m sure that cherry still has a pit.
Jell-O cake appearance: 10
Actual edibility: 6
#5: Odette -Herald
Odette is gorgeous, her music is gorgeous, and this cover is a gorgeous and grotesque painting of her.
#4: Mexican Institute of Sound – Distrito Federal
One of the best albums I listened to because of the cover. Fun, funky, Funkadelic-inspired, the music and the cover. The cover does a great job of letting you know the funky Mexican experience you’re about to have. Electric war babies definitely might get spanked. The slop might get cosmic. This cover has the most mystical, Mexican porn pop-up window.
#3: Baker Boy – Gela
This person is beautiful, the painting is beautiful. What do you call polka dot war paint? Fun paint?
#2: CARCASS – Torn Arteries
I just can’t believe someone did such a good job of making a human heart out of vegetables. That person is a true artist.
Speaking of, I try to find the artists who made these covers, I really do. It’s amazing, however, how uncommon it is to see album covers artists credited.
#1: Eidola – The Architect
This cover is good worldbuilding. I immediately can imagine an entire work of fiction where this Architect character exists, where this mask makes sense. Either someone actually fabricated this incredible mask, or very skillfully used CGI to overlay it on an actual photo. Either way, the effect is incredible.