Release date: Jan. 31, 2012
Photography: Nicole Nodland
Art direction: David Bowden, Lana Del Rey
Labels: Polydor, Interscope, Stranger

Even if the music on Born to Die, the debut album from songstress Lana Del Rey, is, as Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield described it, "pop-starved," the cover itself is all the tragic pop-gloss that Lana tried to put forth on the record. There's something ominous about the photo, as bright as it is, possibly due to the shadows or whatever the shapes in the background are—there's something hiding just out of view. Or maybe it's how properly Lana can affect her detached and still-flawless persona to a simple gaze. The typography here is also an example of great design—a typeface called Steelfish, in this case extra bold—created in 2001 by Ray Larabie with an update in 2010, just in time for this cover to come out. —Dale Eisinger