As the Yeah Yeah Yeah's Mosquito or Black Flag's What The...taught us this year, sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover, but as we also learned from albums like Long. Live. A$AP or Mac Miller's Watching Movies With the Sound Off, that's also not always a bad thing. Great album artwork can potentially signify where an artist's head is at when they're creating their album, who they're inspired by, and even what we can expect the music to sound like.
This year, there was a wide range of styles found when celebrating album artwork, with artists taking influence anywhere from Neo-Classicism to Minimalism. Often taking a bare-bones approach with their design, DONDA played heavily into defining 2013's cover art aesthetic, but also don't forget about Lady Gaga's transformation from pop singer to ARTPOP with the help of Jeff Koons, or Kadir Nelson's work on Nothing Was the Same. It was a strong year for album artwork, and as you'll see from The 30 Best Album Covers of 2013, picking the best of that bunch wasn't easy.