Tuesday, 31 July 2012

NEW LIMITED EDITION ARTWORK : ellie goulding - halcyon (special edition)

Yummmay! So after unveiling the standard edition cover for her sophomore album, 'Halcyon', Ellie has now announced that the release will also come in the form of a special edition box set - with it's own artwork. Also set to include: an exclusive bonus track, eco-friendly packaging, a specially commissioned piece of jewellery and an A3 poster featuring an exclusive image from Ellie's "recent artwork shoot". That is all well and dandy, but the most interesting part about the piece is that it will be limited to 2000 copies and each one will have an individual number AND a completely unique, signed Polaroid image taken of Ellie during the lead-up to the release. Now, this is such a crazy coincidence, as only the other day I had been thinking that it would be such an awesome inclusion in a deluxe edition for the artist to take a whole set of polaroids and include a different one in each box set...it's original, artistic and personal - I applaud Ms. Goulding for being the first to do it! Consider mine pre-ordered :D

NEW BACK COVER ARTWORK : iggy azalea - glory

So, Iggs has just unleashed her latest mixtape 'Glory' (download for free at datpiff.com) and included in the package is the divine beauty of the front cover artwork. You also get another glimpse of the eery, underwater photoshoot with the back cover - where Ms. Azalea is seen floating just under the song titles...is she floating towards of dropping from "glory", do you think?...

Monday, 30 July 2012

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : mariah carey - triumphant (get 'em) (ft. rick ross & meek mill)

OHHOLYLAWWWWD :/ Mimi...whatcha gone and done? The type placing is just awful, the added bar for the "features" at the bottom feels clunky, the size of "Triumphant" is too big...it all feels like a less classily done, almost "fan remake" of the 'Emancipation of Mimi' album cover...

NEW ALBUM ARTWORK : ellie goulding - halcyon

As I said on the post for Ellie's latest single 'Hanging On', the artwork felt too much like Little Boots' latest covers - and now she has released the album artwork for 'Halcyon' (it's a type of mythical bird don'tchaknow...) my thoughts were even more confirmed of how unoriginal her designs are. The only redeeming factor for Ms. Goulding's single artwork was the use of an illuminati-like symbol, which incorporated her initials, but that's nowhere to be seen on this piece...so I'm back to thinking that although she looks stunning, it's still a lil' lame :/

Friday, 27 July 2012

CHECK OUT : christina lu designs for azealia banks

As you know, I have been posting all the illustrated artworks from Azealia Banks' release 'Fantasea' - covers for all the awesome singles 'Jumanji', 'Aquababe', 'Nathan' and 'Neptune', as well as the housing mixtape. After a little digging I discovered that the talented illustrator/designer behind the visuals is a New York-based artist named Christina Lu. On her Behance page there is an extensive portfolio of her work (including everything she has done for Ms. Banks and more), but choosing to not simply post the final images, Lu has put together .GIFs of the process her designs have gone through from initial sketches to final artwork. Check out one for the 'Fantasea' mixtape cover:

Fudging awesome, right?! Looking deeper into her other designs, you can see what the single artworks were originally going to look like too. Such as 'Jumanji' - which ended up having a fancily-dressed Azealia dancing with an Elephant - but initially the design was more abstract. Check it out:

Also, this early drawing for the layout of the 'Neptune' cover shows that a sort of mermaid kingdom was going to be included, but was taken out in the final artwork.

Loving all the early layouts for type as well, showing the consideration that went into these pieces even though they are all for online distribution (the mixtape hasn't been physically released) and - in some people's eyes - are "just" illustrations. It definitely shows the creativity and design that is needed to create something interesting and pleasing for the eye. Make sure you go over to Christina's page (click here) to see all of the .GIFs and her other pieces, this is definitely someone to watch and simonsez will be keeping his eyes peeled for sure :)

(Source: www.behance.net/cplu)

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : j.cole - the cure

Elements of Pro Green's 'Remedy' artwork methinks - but I still like :)

NEW LIMITED EDITION ARTWORK : kylie minogue - K25 time capsule

Oh yes, oh yum! Hold onto your knickers gays, girls and guys - Kylie is bringing out a new limited edition collector's item :D So, as you know, 2012 is the 25th anniversary of Kylie's music career and she has dubbed it 'K25'. Each month she has revealed a new surprise and part of June's is a singles collection called 'K25 Time Capsule'!

At the moment the early pictures (above and below this post) make it look like a similar design to Britney's 'The Singles Collection' release - with the boxset including a number of discs, each holding a couple of songs. Obviously Kylie's is set to include 25...duhh! :) I can't tell much more from the pictures...other then it has an excellent use of the 'K25' logo, a cute black'n'pink colour scheme and an even cuter use of a vintage Kylie pic on one side opposite to an up-to-date-fierce-as-you-like Kylie snap! I'll keep you updated on any new info and make sure you pre-order yours here!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

NEW DELUXE EDITION ARTWORK : jennifer lopez - dance again...the hits (CD/DVD version)

This edition contains three more of Jenny's past singles and a DVD of all the videos... I think they've just toned down the golden glow of the standard edition for this cover.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : kreayshawn - go hard

What is it today with artists serving us some vintage looks from yester year? - what with Tulisa and her Ciara-like cover and X Factor's Amelia Lily taking tips from Marina & The Diamonds with her latest visual. Now it's the turn of foul-mouthed femcee Kreayshawn to serve up a look not too distant from Katy Perry's early visuals. Again, no hate, I just think it's funny when another artist's artwork comes to mind pretty instantly when you look at a new cover... When that does happen I look to the song's video for reassurance in the artist's creativity and Kreay' has really brought her own style with that visual - check it out!

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : amelia lily - you bring me joy

Another one of last year's X Factor UK alumni that I am very excited about is Ms. Amelia Lily! Her debut song is a Xenomania (the team behind AYYLOTTA Girls Aloud's sound) written track called 'You Bring Me Joy' - and here is the artwork. It is giving me some vibes of early Marina & The Diamonds mixed with some very up to date No Doubt (the colours and saturation turned up to the maximum!). All in all I'm liking it...except the type of "you bring me joy", it looks so awkward and thrown on...a score of 8/10 for this one methinks!

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : tulisa - live it up (ft. tyga)

So Tulisa has unveiled her second solo single 'Live It Up' - and the artwork feels very much like 'Goodies'-era Ciara. This is not necessarily a bad thing...but it still reinforces the fact that Ms. "Female Boss" isn't wholly original in her spin on things...

Monday, 23 July 2012

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : trey songz - simply amazing

Trey is about to release the next 'Chapter V' single - 'Simply Amazing' - the youtube has had this artwork attached to it for some time, I'm assuming he'll update it with an official cover when the single picks up steam.

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : rita ora - roc the life (?)

Not sure if this is an official artwork (will update when I find out for sure) for Rita's latest single - I like it....it's still Rihanna-esque and the type is horrible...but it's progress.

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : iggy azalea - flash (ft. mike posner)

So Iggs has released the first single artwork from her 'Glory' mixtape era and it is eerily fierce! In the original artwork (check it out here), she appeared to be getting sexy with some lace and a wind machine - but the shot used for the single shows that the shoot was actually taken underwater and you can never go wrong with getting wet'n'wild on a cover! Snaps iggy...so many snaps that I'll let the ugly type used for "feat. Mike Posner" pass...

NEW REMIX SINGLE ARTWORK : will.i.am - this is love (ft. eva simons) (afrojack remix)

Will has decided to tweak the original artwork slightly for the 'Afrojack Remix' release - pretty boring...but at least the music is fyah :)

NEW DLEUXE EDITION ARTWORK : rita ora - ora (deluxe edition)

You know my thoughts on Ms. Ora. I'm still waiting to be slayed :/

p.s. I have a feeling I will like her more when her second album comes around - where she can carve out her own identity and get a bit of freedom after the success of this album.

Friday, 20 July 2012

NEW ALBUM & SINGLE ARTWORK : melanie c - stages & i don't know how to love him

How did someone go from the epicness of an artwork like this, to the blandness and awful typography of this:

Seriously, the "Stages" part looks like a watermark - it feels too obvious and doesn't integrate into the overall look at all. The single artwork works ever so slightly better...but it is still pretty meh...

RANDOM : so 2chainz has some pretty delicious artwork...

Kanye West's "G.O.O.D. Music" signee 2chainz is everywhere, if you don't know who he is - I bet you'll have heard him lay a few bars on your fave's latest smash (or at least the remix version...). I had kind of put him into the category of 'yes, a talented rapper, but I'm not going to go out of my way to listen to him/buy his music' etc. etc. But , I had to rethink that when I saw his album artwork. Check it out below (titled 'Based On A T.R.U. Story'):

Now, I hope you can see why I find this piece enjoyable: it feels considered (inverting the parental advisory sticker so it fits with the palette), well executed (the photography is invitingly clear where you don't want to look away) and - most importantly - it is simple (which in the rap genre is rare, with artwork often very garish and o.t.t.). Look at it alongside the 'Deluxe Edition' cover of the album as well and the cover feels like even more of a solid piece:

BOOM - Yes and yes! This artwork actually makes me want to know more about the artist, giving the impression that with a well orchestrated visual comes a bit more of a considered approach to the music as well. This artwork is no accident, it is a creation from Yeezy's DONDA design company (a collection of creatives, who Kanye employs to help him create graphic design, visuals and "galvanise amazing thinking" - read more about it  here). For me, I completely see the considered approach given to this visual and I applaud it. Also check out single artwork for 2chainz's latest 'Birthday Song (Ft. Kanye)':


NEW PROMO PIC & LOGO ARTWORK : mutya keisha siobhan

AWWWMAAAGAWWWD! An exciting day in the world of pop, that is for sure! So the original Sugababes members (Origibabes as the internet has come to christen them...) have finally announced their reunion and I couldn't be more ecstatic! So here is what we know already:

The girls (who obviously can't use the Sugababes name) have decided to keep it simple and elegant and name themselves... Mutya Keisha Siobhan. Keeping their elements of individuality, but definitely standing together excited for the future!

The girls have released two promo images (shot by fashion photographer Paul Scala) - see them at the top and bottom of this post. They look fun, together and effing stunning!

They have a new logo and I frigging love it:

(Interestingly...it looks like a slightly simpler version of the type used in the last Sugababes logo. Also, loving the use of dashes - elegant yumness galore.)

So, to conclude. I'm excited. You should be as well. I'll update when that all important single and album artwork arises...

p.s. I have loved Sugababes and ALL their members, from Day One. You'll find no hate for any of them hear, just excitement and support :)

Thursday, 19 July 2012

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : parade - light me up

So, I had thought that the once-boring girl band Parade had disbanded...but the internet has thrown up murmurings that they are returning, this time with a new sound and attitude. The first single will be 'Light Me Up' and the buzz cover is below.

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : willow smith - i am me

Willow's self-empowerment wannabe-anthem feels a little premature in her career...but gal has been put through the public ringer already, so it's understandable why she'd want to speak out...at 11 years old. Hmm...

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : cheryl - under the sun

Wow, Chezza werking that neon strip-bulb! Second single from 'A Million Lights' - get into the artwork below:

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

NEW EP ARTWORK : the cataracs - gordo taqueria

NEW EP ARTWORK : havana brown - when the lights go out

So after I showed you how photoshop editing can be done well (a la JoJo) - I now show you how it can be overused and create something so unsubtle and nasty looking, it really makes you question whether you want to delve into the music within. Case: DJ Havana Brown, Australian diva who gifted us the delight called 'We Run The Night' a few months back. She has now released her debut EP (a taster before her debut album) and the cover is some garishness that even someone with a strong stomach would retch at. The over soft, 'glow' look added to her skin is what chaps my ass most - who thinks that looks good? Grr! Also that type is awful, a black outline and white fill...hello MS Paint. Hav, sack the graphic designer...

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : calvin harris - we'll be coming back (ft. example)

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : the xx - angels

NEW SINGLE & ALBUM ARTWORK : tamia - beautiful surprise

Tamia is back! Mid-tempo, R&B queen is serving up some simple, pink elegance in the 'Beautiful Surprise' single artwork (below).

Keeping with the simple 'n' clean design approach, the album of the same name has also been unveiled. Bring it Tam'!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : jojo - demonstrate

As a one Ms. Kelly Rowland once said (last year...) "lay it on me" Jojo! Loving the look of this, type and logo is on point (snaps for the use of vermillion, one of my favourite colours :D). Also, can everyone see how this is a way an image can be superimposed/photoshopped without looking hella cheap 'n' nasty?

NEW SINGLE ARTWORK : dawn richard - prettywickedthings

Well! Yumness ahoy :) Dawn has decided to create three artworks for latest buzz track 'PrettyWickedThings' - with visuals and type that seem to take inspiration from one Sophia "Soso" Somajo. The third shows a snippet of Dawn with some ferocious nail art, which personally I think really reflects the sound of the song #werk

Monday, 16 July 2012

PROMO PIC : lady gaga 'fame' fragrance poster

Oh wow, oh yes, oh yay! Gargs has unveiled the first official one sheet for her debut fragrance and it is stunning! Shot by Steven Klein, it evokes some 'Alejandro'-video realness (male bare bottoms and slicked back blonde hair :P). I love it, it's so Gaga, so gay, so dramatic and just the injection the industry needs. Can't wait for the advertisement!

NEW ALBUM ARTWORK : pink - the truth about love

UPDATE : So, after reading a post on one of my favourite blogs (The Prophet Blog
 - check it!), my view on this cover altered. The Proph' noted that 'Funhouse' was a "modern take on the vintage, carnival setting, while 'The Truth About Love' puts an edgier spin on the fifties pin-up look"...SO TRUE! Just from those words, I can seperate the two albums and get re-excited for this album. Amen.

I'm torn. Half of me loves it. Half of me feels she's done the "vintage" look before (see photography from 'I'm Not Dead' or overall design of 'Funhouse'). For me, this album needs to be different from the last two - they were both solid and awesome pieces...but they were basically the same album, if we're all honest (even down to their artwork and booklets). So, I'm going to hold my breath until I see the future single covers and the full album layout design.

p.s. We all know Pink is amazing though. No denying that fact.

NEW ALBUM ARTWORK : the xx - coexist

Yum, yes, yum, yummy, yes, yummy, yum. The xx are back players! Their sophomore release (which I thought would never come...they were playing it so coy saying they'd only release one album) will be titled 'Coexist' and the artwork is delicious. I'm getting Pop Art/ Pet Shop Boys 'Yes'-realness, it is truly the evolution from the first album into this piece of art.