#3 in De Volkskrant’s Top 50 Best Albums of 2018

#3 in De Volkskrant’s Top 50 Best Albums of 2018

De Volkskrant published its Top 50 of the best albums of 2018 on 21 Dec and Gothic Voices The Dufay Spectacle came in at #3.   And that’s not only for classical but for all music genres, so we came in above Arctic Monkeys, and Elvis Costello.
It is just fantastic!
Here’s our bit:

3.  (out of 50) Gothic Voices – The Dufay Spectacle (Classical)

A compelling reading tip, for listening to this jewel of a classic record. You should pick up the book Autumn Times of the Middle Ages , from the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga, from 1919. And then you fly with Gothic Voices and back in time for more than five hundred years. The Dufay Spectacle is a beautiful, versatile and above all flawless musical portrait of the greatest composer of the 15th century, Guillaume Dufay. The venerable ensemble Gothic Voices sings refined, two- and three-voiced polyphony, and the rhythmic ingenuity and melodic richness make this album an amazing journey through time.


And the whole article (google translation):


These are the best albums of 2018

The Volkskrant music editor brings the music year back to its unrelenting List of 50, with surprising crossovers, obscure splendid records, classic sensations and – again – many women at the top.

Robert van Gijssel December 20, 2018 , 7:31 PM

A year list forces people to think. After such a neatly measured period of twelve long music months, the music-listening person has to ask himself that fundamental question again: what exactly makes an album so good? Also because you just want to listen to that one most beautiful album around the holidays.

Is an album good because you most often streamed or played that last year and you just wanted to sing along with it, put the fists in the air or dreamed away? Or should there be more to it?

Preferably, of course. De Volkskrant ‘s CD-based music  editors , which consists of seven reviewers, also include other issues in the assessment when this list of preferences is drawn up. Is a plate innovative? Does an artist dare to take a completely new course and offer a view on unknown horizons? Does a work of art, as a music album, affect relevant social topics? Does a plate grab at the throat, if only because he is audibly put together with so much love?

These questions are of course not reserved for specific genres, such as classical music, jazz or pop. And that is why in the list of the fifty best albums of 2018 we let the blood groups flow through each other. No separate lists for jazz, pop, classical, roots, heavy, dance or world music, because then you do not get one, but seven best albums of the year. And what does an album now have with such a split honorary title?

It makes this list beautiful and idealistic, but also quite difficult to put together. There has been a lot of debate, we just admitted it. Sometimes even with raising your voice. But in the end the music editors agreed. There can only be one best, based on all those difficult questions that we can – no: must – put an album.

Do not just look at number 1, but also take a look at those other 49 top pieces. They may be there, they brought the music editor this year to a blissful sigh. What is it that makes a lot of beautiful, touching and important music. Enjoy it.


Rosalía – El mal querer (Pop / World)

Utterly out of nothing Rosalía Vila Tobella (25) of course did not. But the people who knew her were better introduced in Andalusian folk art. In 2017 Rosalía, her stage name, sang at the Flamenco Biennale in the Netherlands. Nice, but a bit hesitant and actually quite traditional.

This year she surprised the world. In Spain they already saw the sensation, because there the Catalan singer scored a summer hitwith the song Pienso and tu mirá . But when her album El mal querer was released in November , Rosalía went globally viral.

There are more singers and singers who try to mix flamenco with hip hop and r & b. Mala Rodríguez, for example, has been doing it for years. But no one can make it as beautiful as Rosalía. In the song Bagdad for example, one of the most oppressive songs of the album, Rosalía screwed up the autotune at the first bars. She then sings softly and fragile, in vocal vocal lines that seem to be quite close to the flamenco, but then suddenly change course to sultry r & b by a small change in the arrangement. With each song you are again amazed: what do the singer and her producer do very well. In Pienso and tu mirá you can hear the palmas of the flamenco alongside fine hip-hop beats. And in Malamentethe flamenco will once again sweep towards dark and threatening r & b.

But it does not stay with musical ingenuity. Rosalía writes beautiful sentences and plays a subtle Spanish word game. Between the lines you discover more and more meaning, and the texts are really about something – Baghdad for example sings the sex work in the Barcelona nightclub with the same name. The singer sings about the brutal game of love. About men who still like to dominate and sometimes even resort to brutal violence – it is an urgent social issue in Spain. She was inspired by an anonymous Spanish book from the 14th century, in which oppression of women by men is sung in even such grim poetic texts. And yet there are also hits on the record, songs that you want to sing along when they pass by on the car radio.

In Spain, Rosalía has been complaining about for a while. She would do cultural work and as a non-gypsy she would make a good impression with the gypsy art of flamenco, which should not be her own. It only makes her album even tougher.

El mal querer is bold, artistic, stylish, idealistic and wise. And Rosalía conquered the world in one blow. Then there is only one thing: her album must be declared the most beautiful album of the year. With a bow around it.

Rosalía. Picture Berta Pfirsich


Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour (Pop / Roots)

All reviewers with pop and / or roots in the package agreed with each other. Kacey Musgraves, once a participant in one of the many American talent shows on TV, made a country headboard that was rarely removed from the CD player. From the very first song, Musgraves sparkles like a shining star over Nashville, with tune-fresh songs like Slow Burn and High Horse , on which she personally pulls into a new era. The arrangements are airy, and Musgraves has the banjo pushed alongside synthesizers and disco. Bold, but it works. Traditional or futuristic, it does not matter. Her courage is rewarded with an honorable second place in this annual list spectacle.


Gothic Voices – The Dufay Spectacle (Classical)

A compelling reading tip, for listening to this jewel of a classic record. You should pick up the book Autumn Times of the Middle Ages , from the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga, from 1919. And then you fly with Gothic Voices and back in time for more than five hundred years. The Dufay Spectacle is a beautiful, versatile and above all flawless musical portrait of the greatest composer of the 15th century, Guillaume Dufay. The venerable ensemble Gothic Voices sings refined, two- and three-voiced polyphony, and the rhythmic ingenuity and melodic richness make this album an amazing journey through time.


Lucile Richardot – Perpetual Night (Classical)

Listen to Lucile Richardot and get seriously confused. Do you hear a man? A woman? Where does this wonderful voice come from? Anyway: Richardot does the most wonderful things with that voice.  We became addicted to the overwhelming and invigorating 17th-century song Care-charming Sleep . Day in, day out, month in, month out, the disc in the CD player, and that song had to flow through the ears again. Do yourself a favor and try Lucile Richardot once – and who knows, day in, day out.


Shabaka Hutchings (composition) – We Out Here (Jazz)

The British saxophonist and clarinettist Shabaka Hutchings has become one of the most important men in contemporary jazz; we have met him a few times in this year list. At We Out Here , as a compiler, he presents the flourishing London jazz scene to us. Hutchings huddled with them in a studio and there in three days swirling whirling and uplifting jazz. That will be something, with that saxophonist and flautist Nubya Garcia and the master keyboardist Joe Armon-Jones.


Low – Double Negative (Pop)

We warn for a moment. Double Negative of the American trio Low is definitely not an easy album, and you will not be very happy either. But dear help, what an intense, disturbing and even frightening music make these masters of slowcore . The harmony is heavenly, the electronic distortions and oversturing take you by the throat. And yes, such a ‘difficult’ record just shoots at the highest listings of this year list. Which of course also does not have to be ‘easy’.


Mudhoney – Digital Garbage (Pop)

Mudhoney, are they still doing it? Yes, and if they still do it. The least angry grunge band from the nineties is still stirring up – it will have something to do with the state of the world and, of course, home country the United States – and thus makes the most beautiful evil record of the year. The band draws from leather against contemporary abuse as live suicide on Facebook and of course ‘Neanderfuck’ Donald Trump. Balance between anger and fun: well done.

  1. CD _ Mudhoney _ Digital Garbage Image x


Tribulation – Down Below (Heavy)

A heavy album that sets the metal in a completely new direction? No, that is Down Below from the Swedish band Tribulation. But the tracks are stunning, and this album is considered an aesthetic renaissance of pure hard rock. What an incredible guitar splendor: melodic and epic, and arranged with utmost precision. And then we also have a real album here, with a searching start, an increasingly stupefying middle section and a few hits at the end. Controlled and titillating top rock.


Erik Bosgraaf & Theo Loevendie – Nachklang (Classical)

The perfect duo? You would almost think so. The old hero Theo Loevendie has never drawn anything from limits. Jazz or classical? Western or Oriental? At Loevendie it runs straight through each other. And that free-spirited attitude naturally fits perfectly with the idiosyncratic recorder virtuoso Erik Bosgraaf. He goes loose on the music that Loevendie wrote for him, improvising freely and become interpreter.


Barbara Hannigan – Vienna: Fin de Siècle (Classical)

A regular guest in our annual list, and often in the top ten. We can not help it either, but we have Barbara Hannigan again. The Canadian soprano and conductor scores this time in collaboration with our own classic giant Reinbert de Leeuw. Together they make the difficult, sultry repertoire from the fin de siècle beautifully translucent. And to get into the atmosphere of these top ten: Alma Mahler, the woman, beats the gentlemen on this album.

Barbara Hannigan. Picture Marco Borggreve


Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (Pop)

The new Arctic Monkeys did not immediately jump to the personal favorites list. It was just getting used to. The angry and even inflammatory guitars of the previous records remained in the suitcase and the piano was driven into the studio. From that Alex Turner managed to conjure up beautiful songs again, although you have to chew a bit longer. The atmosphere on the album is reminiscent of the work of David Bowie in the early seventies. And that is a recommendation.


Makaya McCraven – Universal Beings (Jazz)

A drummer who takes the lead: that sounds more logical than it is. Makaya McCraven, a drummer, recorded sessions with leading new names from major jazz cities of the moment, from London to New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The style of McCraven is smooth and grooving, and with that he slaps the live recorded pieces of music towards the dance floor. An extraordinary festive jazz picture.


Jon Hopkins – Singularity (Dance)

Jon Hopkins likes to talk about his music and he did this in de Volkskrant this year  . He has beautiful theories about music and sound and knows how to surrender scientific treatises there. But if you play  Singularity  , and you hear the intoxicating pianos rise alongside bubbling synthesizers and abrasive rhythms, then the theories fly straight out of the head again and the heart opens. What an overwhelmingly beautiful, mysterious and atmospheric electronic music makes this man.


Stradivari Quartett – String Quartets, Robert Schumann (Classical)

Reviewers who have to take stock at the end of the year often face impossible dilemmas. Often the answer to a simple question can be decisive: how often have you put this CD into the CD player yourself, for your pleasure, just because you always wanted to hear it? Well, these Schumann quartets are turned gray. More we do not have to explain here.


Neko Case – Hell-On (Roots)

What is the American Neko Case still an elusive singer. She is a member of the band The New Pornographers, but excels primarily solo with razor-sharp songs that sweep past the indie pop, folk and country. And especially with a sparkling pen are written: every song is right on  Hell-On . The highlight is the duet  Curse of the I-5 Corridor , which Case sings with the cozy growler Mark Lanegan. They sing about puppy love and ‘miss the smell of mystery’. Superb.


Kali Uchis – Isolation (Pop)

Kali Uchis is the fourth big pop woman in the top twenty of this year’s list – you will come across some more. The Colombian-American gave the r & b and the reggaeton a nice pendulum, and brought in a lot of hip-hop, but also rock-‘n-roll and sixtiessferen. And then she also played terribly hip indie bands like Tame Impala, for example on the wonderfully sultry and even psychedelic song  Tomorrow . A tombola of pop styles, but also just an unparalleled album.

  1. CD _ Kali Uchis _ Isolation Image x


The Ex – 27 Passports (Pop)

After roughly forty years we still can not ignore the Amsterdam punk band The Ex. Or yes, punk band … so you can not call the company any longer. The Ex plays with jazz, improvised and African music. But on the blissful album  27 Passports  the band returns somewhat to the basis. Because the songs are hard, compact and yes, so actually quite punk again.


Dudok Quartet – Solitude (Classical)

The young Amsterdam Dudok Quartet confronts us with the hard fate. In the  Third String Quartet  by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, it goes from rich and layered to ever barer, until you are face to face with the bones of the composition. Hurray for the Dudok Quartet, we strongly encourage them to take over the other sixteen String Quartets from Weinberg.


Emil Gilels – The Unreleased Recitals at the Concertgebouw (Classical)

They threatened to escape the music memory, the recordings made by the Russian master pianist Emil Gilels in the Amsterdam concert hall of the concert buildings in the mid-seventies: the Concertgebouw. His playing is intelligent, enthusiastic and compelling, and this magnificent album thunders like a bolt from the blue.

  1. CD _ Emil Gilels _ Unreleased Recitals Concertgebouw Image x


Daughters – You Will not Get What You Want (Heavy)

In a not too distant past Daughters was a misanthropic hardcore-noise band. The rebirth is spectacular. At  You Will not Get What You Want  The Americans skim past postpunk and Nick Cave, past Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails. But even without those associations, the head will spin. The whining guitar, rattling piano and tormented vocals of Alexis Marshall pinch the throat, for example in the song  Satan in the Wait . An obscure splendor.


Helga Váradi – Bartók & Baroque (Classical)

Bartók had probably never imagined that his  Mikrokosmos , a comprehensive collection of piano pieces, would sound so good on the harpsichord. The young Hungarian harpsichordist and organist Helga Váradi gives the compositions a power surge and introduces Bach, Couperin and Scarlatti for the contrast – and of course the alternation.


Elvis Costello & The Imposters – Look Now (Pop)

Surely a surprise, this new album by veteran Elvis Costello. On  Look Now  he suddenly takes the level of the beautiful records from the past, such as  Imperial Bedroom  (1982). Anyone who dropped out after the eighties because Costello sometimes just sang very annoying, with that forced vibrato in his playing, this record should try.


Sons of Kemet – Your Queen Is a Reptile (Jazz)

The British tenor saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings is doing well. Later on in this list we meet him again, but we do not reveal anything yet. In the band Sons of Kemet he makes tubal player Theon Cross and no less than two drummers driving  tribal jazz . It is exciting and politically charged, music that you have to keep dancing until you drop.


Andris Nelsons – Shostakovich (Classical)

Conductor Andris Nelsons is busy putting down the most important Shostakovich series of the moment. With his Boston Symphony Orchestra he lets the composer rise. Detail, color, tension, storytelling: everything falls together, and the progressive traits of the esoteric  Fourth Symphony  are compellingly highlighted.


Benjamin Alard – Johann Sebastian Bach I (Classical)

Organist and harpsichordist Benjamin Alard has started a monster loop, with which he can continue for years. He follows the career of Johann Sebastian Bach in neat chronology, and in the first edition of his project he puts Bach’s compositions for keyboard instruments alongside those of other composers who may have heard the master in his youth. An exciting insight into Bach’s evolving composer’s brain.


Cardi B – Invasion of Privacy (Pop)

Especially in the first half of 2018, Cardi B was one of the most talked-about pop women in the world. Naturally, this also came through in April, when debuted album  Invasion of Privacy , which was best looked forward to in the American entertainment and social media sector. It was not disappointing. The hip-hop sound of Cardi B is sensual, her lyrics are honest and funny. And sometimes there is also a burst of salsa through her songs. We like that.

  1. CD _ Cardi B _ Invasion of Privacy Image x


Rolling Blackouts CF – Hope Downs (Pop)

The album with the somewhat sombre title  Hope Downs  appeared in June – a great timing, because the Australian band Rolling Blackouts CF made a nice summery guitar record. The melodic pop is sometimes dreamy and pretty sweet, but occasionally there is also a guitar storm that makes you think about the steamy noise of Dinosaur Jr. An excellent debut.


Kamasi Washington – Heaven and Earth (Jazz)

Yes, there we have Kamasi Washington again, the man who played jazz to pop and hip hop, and vice versa. Not in the top ten this time – it can not always be a party. The orchestral jazz, sometimes produced by a man or forty – including a choir – refuses to become bombastic. The surprise is perhaps a bit off, after the great  The Epic  of three years ago, but enjoy it.

  1. CD _ Kamasi Washington _ Heaven and Earth Image x


Yob – Our Raw Heart (Heavy)

Singer and songwriter Mike Scheidt from the American doom band Yob was ill. Deathly ill. But he recovered and wrote a set of poignant songs in which he sometimes stares deeply into the eyes. In the top song  Beauty in Falling Leaves  the heavy riffs and of course that heartbreaking voice of Scheidt fly straight into the metal heart. What is Yob a blessing for the hard music.


Protoje – A Matter of Time (Pop)

Hurray, there is a reggae tag in the List of 50. The Jamaican high culture has finally begun a slight revival, and the inspirational singer Protoje is particularly proof of that. His vocabulary is flashy, his band is deeply grooming and in the committed and delicious roots song Blood Money Protoje shows once again that reggae is not (only) on the beach.


Helena Hauff – Qualm (Dance)

Really a lot of overwhelming dance albums did not pass in 2018 – the album format is not really the dance either. But the German DJ and producer Helena Hauff made something beautiful of it, on the chilling but sometimes quite heart-warming  Qualm . Hauff knows her classics and brings blessed acid and techno to the mixing table. She conjures up ghostly dance floor tracks that are not called ‘neo-gothic’ for nothing.


Lewsberg – Lewsberg (Pop)

You may not immediately fall from your seat when you hear the debut of the Rotterdam band Lewsberg. But the meandering guitar riffs and the light-footed indie pop slowly but surely penetrate the emotional life, especially thanks to the poetic texts, which often refer to highlights from Dutch literature. And then vocalist Arie van Vliet also speaks a bit like the late Lou Reed.


Calefax – Hidden Gems (Classical)

All the music that the reed players of company Calefax touch, gets a golden edge, thanks to the fantastic color mixing and the passionate game. That the title of hidden pearls is not exaggerated, because Calefax places Nina Simone next to Corelli, and Satie alongside Chinese music. A treasure chest that everyone should take a peek at.


Teodor Currentzis – Mahler: Sixth Symphony (Classical)

He is now an old acquaintance in our annual list. And in many other annual lists. Teodor Currentzis makes his Mahler debut with his acclaimed orchestra MusicAeterna from the Russian Permian. And the Greek makes Mahler sound youthful, virile and even clean-washed. Not commonplace, but intoxicating as an LSD trip through the Alps. Of course, especially because of those tinkling celestes.

Teodor Currentzis. EPA image


Igor Levit – Life (Classical)

The Russian-German pianist Igor Levit is not an old and wise musician who has seen everything, but if you have his album  Life hear you would say so. ‘What an overview, and what an intelligence’, we exclaimed at the appearance of this masterpiece on two CDs. And then Levit also sounds Wagner adaptations to pieces by jazz pianist Bill Evans. Intriguing and oppressive.


Idles – Joy as an Act of Resistance (Pop)

The whole world seems to be busy with hip-hop and reggaeton, but luckily we are also blown away by just strong carrying tapes, which can also write very good and compact songs. Joy as an Act of Resistance  – the title says it all – bounces of the youthful energy; the combination of vicious scratching guitars and the measured vocals of Joe Talbot shoot this album into your favorite year list.


Sleep – The Sciences (Heavy)

A comeback with the strength of a sledge hammer on an anvil. The Californian stoner band Sleep, known from the stonede masterpiece  Dopesmoker  from 1998, hits mokerhard with successor  The Sciences . Sleep plays thumping riffs in endless repetition and when the monotonically curved lyrics as mantras come flying in the songs, we light up an old-fashioned jonko. The triptych of the year.


Brother Dieleman – Komma (Pop)

The telling speech is on the rise, and the Netherlands wants to become champion again if necessary. Or yes, the Netherlands … let’s make Zeeland out of it. Because Brother Dieleman sings (or discusses) the landscapes of the region where he grew up, Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. In Zeeland dialect. The banjo strums, the piano comes from time to time and the lyrics of Dieleman are as wonderful as wonderful.


Francesca Aspromonte – Prologue (Classical)

From Italy – how could it be otherwise – we have the joyful news of a great soprano promise. Francesca Aspromonte is only 27, but on her album  Prologue  she shows that she is ready for the first adult chapters of her career overview. With a point-to-point technique she explores the early opera years, and especially the repertoire from her homeland. Aspromonte – remember that name.


Fatoumata Diawara – Fenfo (World)

Malian music is not easy because of conflicts and religious confusion, and nowadays comes mainly to us via France. Fatoumata Diawara is also in Paris, and at a distance she is burning the African pop flames. In top songs like  Nterini  she mixes antique and deeply traditional Africa with smooth pop and thus also bubbling synthesizers. Indeed: just like her great predecessor Oumou Sangaré.

Picture Aida Muluneh


Ghost – Prequelle (Heavy)

Still Ghost in this list-of-50? Yes, it has to be done. The occult Swedish rockers make the real metalheads among the fans a bit more difficult, with the very hit-sensitive record  Prequelle . The atmosphere shines from classic rock to Abba and disco, but towards the end Ghost takes us back again with the extremely well composed ballads  Pro Memoria  and  Life Eternal . What is this a special bond.


Choeur de Chambre de Namur – Arcadelt: Motetti, Madrigali, Chansons (Classical)

Reviewers – yes, also  the Volkskrant  – sometimes regret further listening. Of too many stars awarded, but also of a too meager reward. So restoration in this list of top plates, for a CD that had an asterisk. The work of the renaissance composer Jacques Arcadelt comes to life in the performances of the Namense chamber choir, the ensemble Doulce Mémoire and Cappella Mediterranea. A moving composer portrait.


Graindelavoix – The Liberation of the Gothic (Classical)

The Graindelavoix ensemble sang the Middle Ages to the starry sky, at the Utrecht pop festival Le Guess Who. It says a lot about the voting power of the company. On  The Liberation of the Gothic  , the group sings the rarely heard work of John Browne and Thomas Ashwell to imposing climaxes. Now full and sonorous, then thin and fragile again. What a glorious polyphony.


DJ Koze – Knock Knock (Dance)

The enigmatic German DJ Koze does not just join a few guest vocalists in his exciting and a little enigmatic dance. At  Knock Knock  Róisín Murphy, Bon Iver and José González pass by, and the fun is: you hardly recognize them. Because the star of his music is really Koze himself. He mixes trip-hop and house with soul-filled and funky guitars, and attracts everyone who opens up to a dance in a sweet trip.


John Prine – The Tree of Forgiveness (Roots)

He was an example of the great generation of songwriters, from Johnny Cash to Bob Dylan. And on his new album, which he once again lets escape at the age of 72, Prine shows that he can still be an inspiration for the better songwriters. His songs are pure and seemingly simple, but in his human and empathic lyrics Prine still knows how to strike right into your soul. A comforting song album.


Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite – No Mercy in This Land (Roots)

They bring out the best in each other: the American singer and blues guitarist Ben Harper and the old harmonica hero Charlie Musselwhite. On their new album they sometimes play the goose bumps on the arms, especially when Harper lets himself go and sets up his most beautiful soul voice. A more or less hidden gem in the royal roots range this year, released on the punk label Anti. If you missed this album, give it another chance, around the Christmas tree.


Brad Mehldau Trio – Seymour Reads the Constitution! (Jazz)

The concerts of the American pianist Brad Mehldau in the Bimhuis in Amsterdam chopped up this year. And then came this album too, with a remarkable title that is derived from a dream of the pianist. The pop covers in particular draw the listener into the depths, from  Friends  of The Beach Boys to  Great Day  by Paul McCartney. Mehldau plays crystal clear and compelling, and is melodically inimitable.


Mary Gauthier – Rifles & Rosary Beads (Roots)

The American folk singer Mary Gauthier did not have an easy life. She lay in the gutter, but scrambled up and started a beautiful songwriter career.  She wrote the songs on the album  Rifles & Rosary Beads with war veterans and their families. The songs are therefore meant to be therapeutic – and not just for veterans. What a beautiful, understated and important record.


San Holo – album1 (Dance)

One of the nicest surprises in the more low-threshold dance. Sander van Dijck from Zoetermeer, or San Holo, mixes stamping EDM with nicely arranged guitars and charming vocals, and thus actually finest indie songs. If you embark on such a mix adventure, then you have to have the courage and have a sophisticated musical talent. Thumbs up for San Holo.


Dead Can Dance – Dionysus (Pop)

According to Brendan Perry, man was better off in Antiquity, so in the time before the big religions. On  Dionysus  we hear how man and nature go hand in hand, sometimes with overwhelmingly beautiful music. When Perry and singer Lisa Gerrard dedicate the Dionysus deity to the Athenian hills, to antique world music and threatening electronics, the hairs stand upright with the listener.

The most beautiful album cover of 2018

The trend: complex poses and deeper meanings.

The album cover is under pressure. Logical: if music is consumed digitally, why would you, as an artist, think of a nice package?

Applause for Nicki Minaj and Sophie, who did their best to make something beautiful out of it and even put a trend: the body in complex pose in a photo studio, including artistic image references.

The most beautiful cover  came from Janelle Monáe. The jewelery-covered face cover, full of deeper meanings, was made for the clip at  Make Me Feel  and it also works very well as a coverart. Especially against the background of a sun, with subtly placed solar flares.

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