I have to admit that when I first saw the cover art for Shangri-La, the fifth studio album by Portland, Oregon electronic band YACHT, it was a serious WTF?! moment. The cover is more than just simple. It appears to have been created using word processing software and a black and white printer.
Watching the unboxing video for the deluxe vinyl version of the album, it is clear that one shouldn’t judge an LP by the CD cover. The band claims that the video is the first unpacking video to be shot in the woods. Ignoring that incidental bit of trivia, the artwork and design for the LP package is amazing. The two color photographs are stunning. I don’t understand why they weren’t used for the album cover. They could have easily been used as two alternating covers.
I can understand trying to be minimalist with an album cover design. It worked for huge groups like The Beatles. The Black Keys won awards for the cover of Brother. However, I hate seeing really cool artwork hiding under a plain white wrapper.