Favorite Album Art Of 2011

I spend a lot of time listening to music throughout the year, making my lists of favorite records, the best songs and so on and on. But in the process I cannot help but look at and think about the album artwork and how that accompanies this music. Increasingly, in this digital age, album art is relegated often to postage stamp-sized icons on our screens and iPhones, already downsizing from the pretty small size of CDs. Maybe people do not think about album covers as much, yet I still love to stare over them like I did as a kid. And I still tend to buy albums in LP format because I like seeing that cover nice and big.

In lieu of a best albums of the year list, I decided to curate this list of my favorite album covers of the year. Below is but a sampling of some of the excellent artwork from 2011, some of which point to a few of the thematic trends in imagery, typography, illustration and intricacy.

Video: James Blake’s ‘Wilhelms Scream’

I just love the hazy, out-of-focus look to this video for James Blake’s “The Wilhems Scream” from his forthcoming self-titled full-length album. This album is pretty durn great at times — moody, dark, minimal but man, can Blake sing. His voice is a mix of Antony’s warbling croon and the affected, pained falsetto of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.

See another James Blake video after the jump…