"What appeals to me is the potency in the image -- the object itself, or the mysterious atmosphere it holds. A truly beautiful image has the power open up this whole inner world; it's like a visual "key" that unlocks and fires up your imagination." - Alice Cohen...

In our 2012 Album Covers of the Year feature, we once again get our hands on everyone we can. Through interviews with designers, musicians, labels, and plenty of others, we take a close look at just how many hands are in the pot when it comes to the album artwork process. Inside this feature are 98 album covers spanning a wide array of sonic and visual styles, each selected for its own unique contribution to the world. They are not ranked; instead, they are broken down into sections based on conceptual underpinnings or artistic mediums, and then are displayed on spectrums. Get started by navigating into any of these six sections: Geometric & Pattern-Based Classically-Influenced Narrative & Symbolic Photography & Manipulations Painting & Illustration Collage, Sculpture & Mixed Media You can also see last year's at 2011 Year-End Respect For Album Cover Art
 
Remix City Sifting through mountains of remix trash so you don't have to, in an attempt to find the ones that contribute to their originals. Cat Power and Nicolas Jaar create a truly repeatable duet between remix and original, and Alice Cohen makes music perfect for the summer.

 

When two artists REDEFINE writers are excited about -- Cat Power and Nicolas Jaar -- get together, the results are sure to be nothing but spectacular. In the original for "Cherokee", Cat Power calls attractively for upwards post-mortem levitation and submission, the track's uptempo rhythm feeling more celebratory than pained the entire way. More heart-wrenching liberties are taken with Jaar's ballad-like rendition, which feels as though the sky is opening, shining down rainbow light like stained glass refractions in a cathedral. This remix and its original are truly complementary pairs. Cat Power's Sun comes out September 3rd on Matador. You can download and listen to the album's first single, "Ruin", HERE.