Monday, 26 October 2015

NEW ALBUM, SINGLE + LOGO ARTWORK : adele - 25 + hello

Ms. Adkins is back! You won't have escaped the major Adele news the past few days, she's back with a follow up to her mammoth second album '21'. The third release is titled '25' and the lead single comes in the form of 'Hello'. Here's the album art...

While the artwork features no text, all across her social media Adele's new logo has appeared. Check it out below:

And here's the Cindy Sherman-esque single art for 'Hello'...

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

NEW ALBUM ARTWORK : kylie minogue - kylie christmas (standard + deluxe edition)

Ms. Minogue is feeling festive :D So she's recorded a whole album worth of Christmas delights (if they're anything like her rendition of 'Santa Baby', we're in for a treat). Check out the standard edition cover below:

The album will also come in a CD/DVD deluxe edition - featuring more tracks as well. Below is the tinsel 'n' holly delight:

If you buy from Kylie's official store, your order will come with this fab, branded Kylie wrapping paper! Love seeing that "K" sprinkled all over this :)

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : gwen stefani - i used to love you

A still from the stripped back video is used for this single art. The song being used as take #2 for reigniting interest in Gwen's third album campaign - personally I liked 'Baby Don't Lie' and 'Spark the Fire', anything from Ms. Stefani is good with me!

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : ariana grande - focus

The first single from her third album ('Moonlight') has been teased mercilessly for what feels like an age (I think we have another week to go.. #7daystilFocus). One step in the announcement was the unveiling of the artwork, check out a blonde Ari below:

Thursday, 8 October 2015


WELL! October 8th. Remember the date. Today was the day Rihanna let #R8 go and announced... 'Anti' and began the new era of Robyn Rihanna "The Artist" Fenty. Along with the title announcement, Ms. Fenty also unveiled the cover art for her next release at the MAMA gallery in downtown Los Angeles - and it's a real doozy! Dive in to the visuals (front AND back cover!!) below and then we'll go into the bits 'n' pieces of it all:

Goodness. Something tells me this isn't going to be 'LOUD 2'.

 Painted by Israeli-born Roy Nachum (in his signature style, lots of black and white imagery, with mirrored/blurred elements), he also created the artworks for 'FourFiveSeconds' and 'Bitch Better Have My Money'. It features a young Rihanna on her first day of daycare and has a poem written by Chloe Mitchell in braille laid overtop. “The whole idea behind the braille is people who have sight are sometimes the people who are blindest,” explained Riri. It has been stated that the braille will appear physically on the album artwork, which is exciting - five poems of Chloe Mitchell will be overlaid on images throughout the artwork.

Here's a video of Nachum painting the cover:
A video posted by Roy Nachum / Artist (@roynachum) on

Check out some more images and a video from the artwork announcement:


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

! updated artwork ! NEW ALBUM + SINGLE + LIMITED EDITION ARTWORK : ellie goulding - delirium + on my mind

This is an interesting one... So Ellie Goulding's star has been steadily rising over her last two albums and with her next release 'Delirium' she is going for all out Pop princess (especially if she carries on with songs like the Max Martin-penned 'On My Mind' - what a tune!). 

The album was announced along with the single and some limited edition release options also, all with their cover artworks. But now, with a month left before release date, the artwork has been tweaked slightly to use a serif typeface, rather than the orignal sans serif. This may seem like a non-event to some, but actually for such a stripped down cover the change to the text actually has a strong visual effect. Let's have a look below:

The "new" version of the cover (this is the standard edition of the album):

And here is the "original" version (using the same typeface as the 'Halcyon' cover art):

Below is a comparison of the two logos:

Here is the new cover for the deluxe edition of the album, with the new typeface also:

Hmm... to me it seems an odd turn of events. This next release is highly anticipated for Ellie, with some asking if she can take it up a level and maintain the standard of "pop star" that she has cultivated? With this anticipation and level of popularity, I'm sure she has major backing by a record label. It seems odd to me that artwork would be approved, signed off and sent out publicly (across all platforms of her social media, website, official store etc), to then be tweaked and changed. It comes across as sloppy to me and doesn't bode well for the handling of the album roll out. Especially as now there are inconsistencies across her website with some pages still using the old logo and some pages featuring the updated one.

Here is the single artwork for 'On My Mind', featuring the sans serif typeface also, another level of inconsistency now that the main font used for the rest of the album era will be the serif type:

This leaves me wondering: why the change and why now, at this late stage of the album release? Was it to step her away from the 'Halcyon' visual, the still pop but slightly more experimental sounding last album? Was it to embrace the wave of serif fonts being seen used more and more recently - to reflect the potential change in fashion of graphic design?

Hmm... let's see how this one rolls out...and while we wait, check out the limited edition vinyl and boxset versions the album will be released in, featuring art cards and a black & white version of the album cover:

Positive note though, I'm loving the pastelly colour palette and images being used - so there's that :)

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : tinashe - player (ft. chris brown) + party favors (ft. young thug)

My fave, Tinashe, is back on the scene ready to drop her second album and has released a buzz single ('Party Favors') and now the lead single, alongside Chris Brown, titled 'Player'. The cover art is already iconic giving me vibes of Christina Aguilera's 'Stripped' album cover + snakeskin boxing gloves...amazing.

NEW ALBUM ARTWORK : anastacia - ultimate collection

15 years since the release of her debut single 'I'm Outta Love' - Ana is back with her second Greatest Hits collection. The title and artwork are giving me some slight "meh" vibes, but I struggled to find this cover anywhere so thought I'd post so people knew what the official artwork was!

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : fleur east - sax

YES! My favourite from last year's X Factor UK - Fleur East - is ready to unleash her debut single and has teased the release with the cover art for single 'Sax'. Giving some big haired, brightly primary coloured yumness - I'm loving this. Graphic, bold and great use of 3D lettering. Here's hoping the song doesn't disappoint...

NEW ALBUM + SINGLE ARTWORK : sam smith - in the lonely hour (drowning shadows edition) + writing's on the wall ('spectre' theme)

Just in time for the coveted Christmas season, Mr. Smith is re-releasing his multi-platinum debut album as a special 2-disc edition. Titled 'In The Lonely Hour (Drowning Shadows Edition)' - it will feature some of his well known covers, updated versions of his singles (including the Mary J. Blige version of 'Stay With Me' and John Legend version of 'Lay Me Down') and new songs also. For the cover art he has recreated the original album's art but now with his new slimmed down figure:

Check out the single cover for his Bond theme 'Writing's On The Wall' also (shout out to the shadow giving us throwbacks to Naughty Boy's 'La La La' cover art...)

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : janet jackson - no sleeep + no sleeep (ft. j.cole) + burnitup (ft. missy elliott) + unbreakable

So, I'm really bumping with Janet at the mo (I've missed her during her time away from music - I've been replaying the 'Discipline' album for the last 7 years, no material is very welcome!) so apols for the big posts about her...but she deserves our attention! Check out the artworks for the singles 'No Sleeep', 'BURNITUP!' and 'Unbreakable'.

NEW ALBUM ARTWORK: janet jackson - unbreakable

Ms. Jackson if ya nasty is back y'all! I saw that her new album 'Unbreakable' had three different cover artworks so I had to get them all in one place for your viewing pleasure. Before we jump in, take a look at this video of photographer YuTsai shooting the imagery for the album art. Stylist Kim Bowen described the look of the shoot as “a whole conglomeration of different looks” for Jackson, including rock ‘n’ roll, ethnic, sexy, funky, “punky,” tribal and organic:

Cover 1: This is the official standard cover.


Cover 2: I've seen this billed as the "Eyes Closed" version on Amazon also, a limited edition version of the standard album with a different cover art featuring no type at all - just Jan closing her eyes and blocking out the haters.

Cover 3: This version I have seen is the "Target Edition" in the US or "HMV Exclusive cover" in the UK - it features two bonus songs and Ms. Jackson looking over your BS.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

LIMITED EDITION : madonna - rebel heart (super deluxe edition)

A well put together, if slightly mis-titled edition. The album comes in three releases: standard, deluxe and super deluxe. Now for me, "super deluxe" sounds like it'd be some majestic, designed for the heavens box set - what this actually is is a perfectly decent edition, just not enough for that kind of title! Don't get me wrong, I love the folding out format and glossy finish to the images but I want a little more. Two specific things that niggle at me... First: The second disc has "Disc 2" printed onto it (seen in the image above), so I nice touch would be to have "Disc 1" on the first CD. A little thing, but I noticed it:

The bigger annoyance to me was the exclusion of the album booklet... I can't tell you how much I hate that being overlooked. As a fan who wants all the bells and whistles of a physical album (and will pay more money for the 'top' version - as a super deluxe would have you believe), I want the booklet that would be included in the standard and deluxe editions. This version includes no linear notes and although has some great looking packaging, doesn't actually give you all the information about the album. Quite a large oversight in my opinion.. A nice edition, but not Madge's best designed piece.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

LIMITED EDITION : kylie minogue - kylie (debut album) (reissue collector's edition)

Now, long time readers of the simonsez blog will know I LOVE me a Kylie limited edition release (see here, here and here). So when it was announced that Ms. Minogue's first four albums would be re-released as special celebrations of her PWL years, I was more than overjoyed to hear there would be limited edition boxsets involved. So, to celebrate in my own special way I will be putting up four special posts to share the reissued albums - starting with her debut album "Kylie". ENJOY (YOURSELF)!!

The boxset is the size of a 12" vinyl and comes with the original album art emblazoned on the front. Let's be honest, that late 80s cover hasn't held up amazingly, once you get up close even the photo quality is really something to behold in all its fuzzy glory.. But somehow it adds into the feel of the piece. It's honouring the fashions and early looks of the pop princess, not trying to modernise and cover over the cheesier pictures etc. For that, it really feels like a celebration and a time capsule to be delved into.

For anyone who has the CD (or even the cassette) version of the album, you will see how true this has kept to the original artwork - from cover to logos to spine design.

That hair hat she's rocking is truly iconic! :D

Now lets lift the lid and dive in..

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