The Worst Album Covers Of 2016

Worst album covers 2016 | © Soft Hair/GOOD/Def Jam/Drag City
Worst album covers 2016 | © Soft Hair/GOOD/Def Jam/Drag City
Picture of Ryan Kristobak
Music Editor
Updated: 12 July 2017
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There are many parts that go into crafting an album: the music, the personalities of those behind the music, the marketing campaign, the press coverage, the tours, and the artwork. In a time before streaming services and blog coverage, the latter played a much larger role — having an appealing cover often determined whether those browsing CD outlets or flipping through vinyl crates would purchase your body of work. While visual appeal rarely determines depth of crowd today, there is still something to be said about an engaging cover, and the same goes for those that are decidedly lacking.

We have been blessed in audio output these past 10-and-a-half months, but there have also been some real disappointments on the artwork end. From some of the most anticipated albums to drop this year to the obscure and simply horrifying, these are the worst album covers of 2016.

Tindersticks – The Waiting Room

Great album, terrifying choice of headwear.

Tindersticks "The Waiting Room"
© City Slang

Kanye West – The Life of Pablo

For someone who is so passionate in design, we expected more.

Kanye West "The Life of Pablo"
© GOOD/Def Jam

Too Many Zooz – Subway Gawdz

Somebody call James Franco or Mark Whalberg. Or Jason Clarke. Or Charlton Heston.

Too Many Zooz "Subway Gawdz"
© Too Many Zooz

Ty Segall – Emotional Mugger

Nope. Kill it with fire.

Ty Segall "Emotional Mugger"
© Drag City

Elton John – Wonderful Crazy Night

We’d like to imagine this is Elton John’s “I’m totally having a wonderful, crazy night” pose.

Elton John "Wonderful Crazy Night"
© Mercury/Virgin EMI

Red Vox – Blood Bagel

Why would anyone attempt to ruin bagels?

Red Vox "Blood Bagel"
© Red Vox

Yanni – Sensuous Chill

A little spicy. A little icy. All Yanni.

Yanni "Sensuous Chill"
© Portrait

Redfoo – Party Rock Mansion

Beer bong? Rad. Scandalous photo of a female who appears to be biting at some guy’s underwear? Sweet. Random bro with an obnoxiously giant chain throwing up the metal horns? Sick. Welcome to party rock mansion. Check out: Never, bro!

Redfoo "Party Rock Mansion"
© Rykodisc

Sia – This Is Acting

The permanent fish face makes us very uncomfortable.

Sia "This Is Acting"
© Inertia/RCA

The Hotelier – Goodness

The Hotelier’s third album is one of 2016’s best. Its cover is not.

The Hotelier "Goodness"
© Tiny Engines

Sei2ure – Vibrator

Well then…

Sei2ure "Vibrator"
© PRSPCT Recordings

Elisa – On

Save the kittens for the “Hang in There” posters.

Elisa "On"
© Sugar

Elliphant – Living Life Golden

What is that creature?

Elliphant "Living Life Golden"
© TEN Music Group/Kemosabe

Soft Hair – Soft Hair

Surely, even Adam and Eve needed sunscreen.

Soft Hair "Soft Hair"
© Soft Hair

Pixies – Head Carrier

We’re not really sure what’s going on here, but with such a boilerplate effort (at best) on their sixth album, we’re not too eager to figure it out.

Pixies "Head Carrier"
© Pixiesmusic/PIAS

Scooter – Ace

It looks like someone just discovered Photoshop.

Scooter "Ace"
© Sheffield Tunes/Kontor

Super Guitar Bros – Nice.

The duel turtleneck approach is bold. You have our respect, Super Guitar Bros.

Super Guitar Bros "Nice."
© Super Guitar Bros

Nick Jonas – Last Year Was Complicated

Nick Jonas has so many emotions.

Nick Jonas "Last Year Was Complicated"
© Island/Safehouse

Good Charlotte – Youth Authority

After 14 years, Good Charlotte progressed from the “young and hopeless” to the “youth authority,” and they’re still a terrible band.

Good Charlotte "Youth Authority"
© MDDN/Kobalt

Humo – Fiera / Aljarafe

Even muscle-bound freaks need to cool off and take a cat nap in front of a fan sometimes.

Humo "Fiera / Aljarafe"
© Humo

Cyndi Lauper – Detour

Oh no, Cyndi Lauper, ranch rope font?

Cyndi Lauper "Detour"
© Sire

Yung Bae – Skyscraper Anonymous

Everything about this cover is nonsense, but the music will have you groovin’ through every second of its 11 tracks. Shoutout to the classic school picture backdrop.

Yung Bae "Skyscraper Anonymous"
© Andrew Walker

Yuck – Stranger Things

Seriously, yuck.

Yuck "Stranger Things"
© Mamé Records

Poppy – 3 : 36 (Music To Sleep To)

What is she wearing?

Poppy "3​:​36 (Music To Sleep To)"
© Poppy

Garbage – Strange Little Birds

This weirdly reminds me of the Elephant Graveyard from The Lion King. This isn’t a good thing.

Garbage "Strange Little Birds"
© Stunvolume

Korn – The Serenity of Suffering

It takes a certain kind of person to appreciate Korn’s music. It takes an even more unique individual to appreciate their…artwork.

Korn "The Serenity of Suffering"
© Roadrunner

Steven Tyler – We’re All Somebody from Somewhere

The only thing more questionable than the cover of Steven Tyler’s solo debut is its title.

Steven Tyler "We're All Somebody from Somewhere"
© Dot

Lumpy & The Dumpers – Huff My Sack


Lumpy & The Dumpers "Huff My Sack"
© Lumpy & The Dumpers

Poliça – United Crushers

Again, not really sure what is happening here.

Poliça "United Crushers"
© Mom + Pop Records

The Tragically Hip – Man Machine Poem

Naked babies shouldn’t be thrown into the air for album covers.

The Tragically Hip "Man Machine Poem"
© Universal

Ninja Sex Party – Under The Covers

This album is meant to a be a joke, so, really, this cover is a success.

Ninja Sex Party "Under The Covers"
© Ninja Sex Party

Pitbull – Climate Change

We’re not entirely sure if this is the cover of Pitbull’s upcoming album, but whatever it ends up being, we don’t like it.

Pitbull "Climate Change"
© Mr. 305/RCA
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