The famous saying goes that we should never judge a book (or in this case an album) by its cover, meaning that we should never judge the worth of something on outward appearance. However, the unfortunate truth is that I, and many others, do judge albums on their covers.
Take the cover of Lana Del Rey’s upcoming album which was recently unveiled, for instance; it is, quite frankly, hideous. See, whilst I loved both the titular Honeymoon and Terrence Loves You (High By The Beach was, for me, something of a filler song) I do feel that this clumsily put together cover has somewhat tainted my perception of the album overall. Unsurprisingly, Twitter exploded upon the reveal of the album with many users expressing their distaste and distress at the album art. In contrast, the cover for the album Before The World Was Big by Girlpool is both unique and fitting and epitomises the overall message if the album.
It seems then that, right or wrong, the album art does play a role in how many of us perceive the album as a whole. When searching for new music I will often go for albums with eye catching and gripping covers.
For example, I was first drawn to Django Django because of the cover of their debut album, and I have grown to love them since. Although many would argue that the digital age has led to album artwork becoming less important, I would say that the aesthetic is part of the package and that we are as likely to judge an album on its cover as ever before.