UseableArt indeed. We handle them every day (Lord how I miss LP’s), they adorn our shelves, they even make us buy the albums they adorn. They’re good at what they do. Most of them. And they know it. And the best of them create a product so unique the cover art is as identifiable with the band as their music, blurring the lines between commercial design and fine art.
We all know the inspirational classics (Yes), even i we don’t necessarily love the bands (“Heat of the Moment”, anyone?). And there are the new groundbreakers like the Crystal Method. Takes a bold, some might say shameless, designer to include a corporate logo in their work.
The point is, regardless of how you feel, and no matter how badly you want to hit “play” on that CD, take a minute or two to appreciate the art. Someone spent a lot of time on it. It says something (or at least it should) about the band and the music you’re about to listen to. And it’s usually pretty cool.