all 11 comments

[–]SquishybzpWith my orange umbrella 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Not a bad piece of writing or evaluation per se, but it can't fully decide if it's an opinion piece or trying to be a semi-objective overview. Lots of personal opinions on the band's music and career arc and also kind of rests on the massively subjective and totally unprovable idea that "generally good albums have good album art and vice versa for bad albums." Yeah, there's intentionality behind album cover design, probably more so for a band with members from a design background like The National, but often album art is just a carefully crafted ink blot, something people project their own feelings about the album onto by virtue of it being the primary visual for the sound and the era. Sometimes it so happens there's an incongruity there; you like the music but not the album art or the other way around. IMO, it's less that The National is some exception to a correlation between "good" music and "good" album art and more that the author recognized a trend in their own feelings.

[–]bitternmangerIn the city you hated 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I like how we’re all pretending we don’t know that OP wrote the ‘article’.

[–]mattywish[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Hey. My (OP) bad. I just wanted to share the link and pov. Wasn’t looking to spur debate or stir up anything. Been a quiet member here for a while but happy to remove post if it’s not relevant.

[–]seamless_whore 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thanks for sharing (and writing). I'm into design and enjoyed reading about the cover choices.

[–]Full-Atmosphere-4818 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I know The Boxer is considered a legit classic cover but for me Alligator is even more brilliant because it should not work. But it works amazing. I just stare at the design and how great it is. BTW, a dude on YouTube does videos (audios, actually) of their albums "live". He colorizes the covers and the one for Alligator is a also a beaut, colorized.

[–]SugarMouseOnReddit 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Completely disagree with much of this article. Getting tired of the narrative that IAETF and Frankenstein are big step downs. IAETF is a masterpiece. Very different in style than the older albums, but a masterpiece nonetheless. And Frankenstein is almost as good as and similar in style to albums like Alligator and Boxer. Frankenstein would be considered in much more glowing terms if it had been released when Alligator or Boxer was in my opinion.

[–]mattywish[S] -1 points0 points  (1 child)

I mostly agree with you about Frankenstein, for what it's worth. I think it's excellent (though I don't think the two predecessors are as cogent or as breathtaking). But opinions are just that and also this essay was more about their album art and design.

[–]SugarMouseOnReddit 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Below is from the article and it goes way beyond an analysis of album covers ... I wish the writer had focused more on album covers and less on his/her judgments about the band's music. Maybe the writer might consider editing the article with that in mind. I find the discussion of the album covers to be wonderful, but the music commentary distracts from that.

As to why the band has regressed musically, I have no particular insightbut, I do have several theories. There’s the fact that when bands areyounger, living and traveling in close quarters, they are different thanwhen they move out of the city, start families of their own and pursueoutside passions. For the most part, bands make better music when theyspend more time together — up to a point, of course. After which, verybad things can happen.

[–]AccomplishedBag6555[🍰] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

What a great piece. In depth and thorough. Well done.

While I don’t agree with all the album sentiments, it was a great read. Thanks!

[–]alx__der 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Ok, since we're talking about album covers, I have a question. Am I the only one who thinks that Alligator cover (or even the one from Lit Up single) was inspired by this R.E.M. single cover? Or is it too far of a stretch?

[–]mattywish[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’d never thought of it but I can see some similarities…