Lloyd Cole and the Commotions Easy Pieces Cover and Back

The cover of the album Easy Pieces by Lloyd Cole and the Commotions reveals the artistic sensibilities of the 1980s without disguising a love of scissors and glue. For my taste (and I know some will disagree), this random assortment of common items is awful. I'm sure that the cover was discussed, and someone may have ordered it up, as organized and delivered, but I'm not a fan of the way these pieces were thrown together. I understand that there was a theme, but that theme was followed to the detriment of what ended up being released.

Now, was there an artist on the other end of this who tried to make it work? Absolutely, and just because I don't like this cover doesn't mean I think that person was a terrible artist. Far from it, this was just a piece that didn't work. It was a presentation method that, I think, ended up looking far too cluttered and slashed and sliced up. I particularly despise the use of the newspaper at an angle, with strips of cut-up photos laid over the text to keep from revealing which paper and what was printed on it. I don't like the addition of the rose--another nod to the idea that romantic pop music has to be labeled and identified as such by the careful placement of flowers so that no one will think that this is heavy metal or weird ska music.

I particularly don't like seeing the titles of the songs on the album printed on the front. With a futuristic design like this, incorporating a lot of "modern" art elements in the style and arrangement of the items on the front, why go with that retro feature found on old albums? It doesn't make sense because it mixes too many different sensibilities. The images here are a newspaper, telling me "this album is current and up to date and aware of the world." A rose, telling me that you will get a heady dose of "love songs and romantic music." And then some jarring bits of clip art that have been printed out, sliced up with an X-acto knife, and spread around randomly, telling me that "it's 1985 and this is modern and chic."

The arrangement on the back is a little better. That's a nice way to do band photos. Why not make that collage the entire cover, with a white background? Was that considered? That's the most redeeming feature I can name.