Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Album Art Analysis

Cheryl Cole "Messy Little Raindrops"


The overall aesthetic of the album cover connotes materialistic and commercial ideologies along with glamorous imagery to create specific emphasis on the iconography of the artist, their personal ideals, beliefs/interests and ultimately indicates at the institutional context of the music label. 

The font style used illuminates on the commercially orientated imagery on the cover through its fluidity and delicate/elaborate style (it could be suggested that the font type used is purposely intends to mimic handwriting). The styling of the artist also communicates ideologies of wealth, possession and self adoration; the leopard print Christian Loboutin high-heeled shoes (notorious for their craftsmanship and high-price) represent glamour, but could also indicate at an animistic obsession or desire for an idealised life brimming with wealth, fame and prosperity. 

The pose of the artist reinforces the idea of self-adoration and could signify an appeal to an audience demographic of admiration seekers or materialists. The artist adopts a pose that showcases her body and also the structure of the clothing - iconography that shows that the artist is very commercially orientated. It is clear that the artist has knowledgeable insight into the world of fashion due to the exclusivity of her clothing, the way the dress is sculptured, to the way she purposely manipulates her pose in order to expose the dress' best elements. The pose is however considerably masculine, which portrays the artist's desire to be taken seriously - this goes against mainstream album cover conventions, and the 21st century portrayal of women as symbols of vanity and sexual desire. Despite this, the bright fuschia and orange colours of the dress show a hesitance to let go of her femininity and fun-loving nature. 

The glamorised image of the artist is blurred which could indicate at deeper and more complex issues surrounding the general perception of the artist and the stereotypical ideals she represents. We can learn from the title of the album cover that the artist aspires convey more depth to her persona; she wants people to see the real her - not only the professional and driven side, but the more sensitive side. "Messy little raindrops" alludes to a sense of ambiguity. The curtain could represent the recent turbulence in her life, and ultimately, a longing to see beyond the messy raindrops. It could be argued that the messy raindrops are a metaphor for the washing away of her past and the emotional baggage that comes with it, and ultimately the artist embarking towards a new beginning/a new chapter in her life. 


The Wanted


The aesthetic of this album cover follows a colour scheme of increasingly dark tonal variations. Black usually connotes mystery, sophistication and darkness, whereas grey being a mid tone suggests ambiguity and obscurity. 

The font type used is prominent and bold to ensure the name of the band stands out. The fact that the members of the band are each dressed in black ensures that the album cover is not visually distracting for consumer audiences; thus ensuring that all attention is focused on the faces of the band members, and on the title of the album. The fact that the band are dressed in the same colours could indicate at a sense of unity - a bond between them. This in turn creates specific emphasis on the ideals and beliefs of the band-members, their iconography but also reveals a substantial degree about the institutional context of the music label. 

The music label are obviously keen to present their artist(s) as a new breed of boy band. The minimalistic setting reflects the 21st century trend of minimalism in both fashion and arcitecture, and overall theme of the album cover suggests a serious, business-minded and professional nature. 

Each band member stares directly into the camera which asserts their sense of authority and serious nature; this could even suggest that a visually intruiging album cover is not of real signifigance to the band: that they want to focus soley on promoting their music. One band member however, situated at the back of the image, evidently looks in a different direction to the other band members. This could reflect a differing ideolology or moral from the band member, or could even indicate a difference in the individuals personality or talent. 


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