Judging albums by their covers

I buy almost all of my music on iTunes these days, but sometimes I'll be tempted into buying whole albums by artists I love. The thing is, this year all the artists I love have selfishly decided to release their albums at the same time. The least they could do is make an effort with the sleeve design. Let's see what I've got in store …

Beck - Odelay Special Edition
I love this album. And although they've wrapped it in a bit of baking paper, it's good to see they've made an effort with the sleeve by doing the most Beckular thing - taking an existing piece of art and scrawling all over it to create an endearing mess.

Guillemots - Red
I discovered their first album track-by-track over a couple of years, so to suddenly have a whole new body of work thrust on me in one go is a bit intimidating... almost like.. a giant ball of wool. Of course. Bought this on Monday and so far it seems like a grower. Words in particular is amazing.

The Long Blondes - Couples
Interesting. Still going with a horrible narrow typeface, but at least this time they've got a zebra on the cover. Saw them last week at Fibbers (York's premier music venue) and the new stuff sounds good good good. I stand by my judgment that they sound like Blondie and Pulp sharing a caravan whilst on holiday in St Etienne. Whilst wearing berets.

Portishead - 3
At bloody last. Good to see they're still going with the big P. And that teal colour just looks like how they sound, doesn't it? Or is that just me?

The Raconteurs - Consolers Of The Lonely
Despite the fact this was rush-released this Tuesday, my local Sainsburys had it at number 26 in their charts on Monday. Hmm. Nice cover - no doubt chock-full of symbolism and obscure cultural references.

R.E.M. - Accelerate
After the "slap it through Photoshop" cover of Around The Sun, it's good to see a scruffier back-to-basics cover (which, judging by the reviews, reflects the nature of the album itself). Like all R.E.M. albums I'll end up buying the expensive special edition which I'll pore over for a couple of days and then put on a shelf to gather dust for the rest of time.