2013 In Review: The 10 Worst Album Covers Of The Year

Carl Williott | December 20, 2013 5:30 am

We’ve spent the past month celebrating the best things about pop music in 2013, but now it’s time to call out a few worsts — sorry, Santa, but we can’t be nice all the time. Our list of the worst album covers is one of my favorite year-end features. Why do I love it so? For one thing, it’s hard to agree on what makes bad music, but it’s very easy to unite in agreement over what makes a bad photo or ugly artwork. As the 10 terrible covers below will prove.

Secondly, I love pondering how these things happen. How do such visual abominations get through so, so many layers of approval before getting slapped onto a CD cover? Who cares! We’re here to chide them, not deconstruct them! Let’s get to it.

Mac Miller — Watching Movies With The Sound Off

worst album covers mac miller
We might as well start things off with one of the most eye-catching ones of the bunch. Eye-catching in the way a rusty fish hook can be eye-catching.

Miley Cyrus — Bangerz

worst album covers miley cyrus bangerz album-art
We get it, but also, we don’t get it? Why set the listener up with a preconceived vision of Miami Vice cheeze-chic if that aesthetic is nowhere to be found in the actual music? It’s one of those silly covers that makes it hard to take the music seriously at first. (See also: Tyler, the Creator‘s Wolf cover.)

Drake — Nothing Was The Same

worst album covers drake nothing was the same
Corny painting + corny Rap Game George Michael Beard = WORST!

Jhene Aiko — Sail Out EP

worst album covers JHENE AIKO SAIL OUT
Remember that porn version of Pirates Of The Caribbean? Nobody on Jhene Aiko‘s team does, apparently.

Big Sean — Hall Of Fame

worst album covers big sean hall of fame
I know the rapper squat, or whatever, is cool now, but can we all just admit the pose makes the subject look like he’s crying, shitting himself, or crying from shitting himself?

Ariana Grande — Yours Truly (scrapped cover)

worst album covers ariana grande
Ick. I feel like I’ll be added to some sort of list after looking at this image. It was so bad she changed it, and I don’t know if that’s ever happened before. So even though this artwork was scrapped, it earns a spot on the list.

Jason Derulo — Tattoos

worst album covers jason derulo
Somehow, this Drake-wave cover would’ve been less atrocious if that were an actual bald eagle neck tattoo that spelled out “TATTOOS.”

Action Bronson — Saaab Stories

worst album covers action bronson saab stories
Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire‘s Lost In Translation cover makes this look like a church fresco, but this one still… this one has layers and layers of badness to sift through.

John Mayer — Paradise Valley

worst album covers john mayer
Speaking of layers! “Ah, there goes crazy ol’ John ‘Layer’ Mayer playing Wild West with his dog and blanket-cape again!”

The Wanted — Word Of Mouth

worst album covers The Wanted Word of Mouth
They’re words, and they’re in a mouth. And that makes my mouth want to say one word: BYEFOREVER.

Which album covers offended your eyes this year? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!