In the first of the series of what will obviously run into the thousands, I've decided to tackle the cover for the new Kasabian album, Velociraptor, a cover so woeful that upon seeing it, this (soon to be) long running feature was born.
Kasabian have a sordid history of terrible covers, and themselves are a terrible cover of every single rock and roll cliché ever written, in every copy of Mojo they've ever skim read. I've always believed that if you want to make a credible sequel to Spinal Tap, you could not go far wrong than to follow these bozos around for a year.
The reason I hate this cover, is because I know exactly how it happened. I've been there when you've got an 'alright' illustration, but it's a strange shape, somethings you can't make it sit interestingly on the page, so you try juggling it around and then duplicating it until you end up with something like this. You briefly have a moment of thinking it's good, then you get a cup of tea, sit back down and delete it. This last part tragically never happened, and somehow it's been (probably) been pressed to 20,000 gatefold pieces of vinyl, that the band insisted on releasing (probably) at the budgetary detriment of the jobs of two juniors at the record label.
There's two things that I thoroughly dislike about this, the first is that all the heads are the same, I think if they'd all been different illustrations, I'd have just thought it was terrible and forgotten about it. The worst thing about it is, the negative space that the heads create, it's a shape that's nearly a swastika (that could have been so Bowie man!), but it's not, it's the most eye catching part of the design, and it's NOTHING but a hole for the typography to sit in (which is terrible by the way).
A great designer would have created the heads in a way that when put together created something relevant to album and the band, and made this work visually on a another level, this could have made this potentially a great cover.
It annoys me because this kind of work is nearly impossible to get these days, and these sleeves literally stay around FOREVER, and designers have to think about that all the time they're working on it. The work is so half-baked, so nearly a good idea, and so lazily executed that I'm as cross as I'm jealous that someone has so many opportunities they can afford to let even one slip away and not produce something beautiful.
Let me know if there are any covers you'd like me to review, or if you've got one you want to rip into for this blog.
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