NPR logo You Can Tell a CD by Its Cover

You Can Tell a CD by Its Cover

Today, I went through a few hundred CDs looking for a handful for next week's All Songs Considered. There simply isn't enough time to listen to every song on every CD, so I listen to the first cut on most every disc. If I don't like the aesthetic of the music, I go on to the next song. There is one exception: If I like the cover art, I'll randomly go to another cut and see what else the music has to say.

Here is one dirty little secret — I don't like this, but it's true. I look at the cover art, and if it doesn't have a hint of originality, and I'm pressed for time,I don't listen to the CD.

Here are a few sure signs of artwork that foretells uninspired music:

1. Musicians with pets
2. Pyramids (except Dark Side of the Moon)
3. Women in gowns on couches
4. Men drinking alcohol
5. Skulls
6. Chandeliers
7. Bad Photoshop jobs (e.g., bands floating on clouds)
8. Multiple fonts (cursive is the curse)
9. Posed portraits
10. A guy holding a guitar and smiling

What else?
Can you tell a CD by its cover?
What are the telltale signs of a bad record?
Any exceptions to the above list?

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