I have a folder on my hard drive devoted to album covers. It contains two sub-folders, "Album covers - good" and "Album covers - bad". When I find an image that fits either description, I file it accordingly for possible future use. But I haven't done so for a little while, because the "bad" folder was filling up so quickly and often that it got depressing. Some labels now put out entire catalogues with bad artwork. Earache, Massacre, and AFM, I'm looking at you. You are flooding the earth with bad images and often-bad sounds. Please stop.

The next category (after "Best Album" - see comments here) in this year's readers' choice awards is "Best Album Cover". Voting occurs in two weeks. Below are five of my favorites. Evidently I am not a fan of text sullying images.

What were your favorite album covers this year? Please post image links in the comments below. And if anyone knows how to embed images in the comments box, please let the rest of us know.

— Cosmo Lee

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