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Taking sides: Who has the uglier album cover? Kanye West or Taylor Swift?

By Click Track

taylor kanyeBig sellers with ugly covers. (That Yeezy cover is blurred, of course.)

When Kanye West's fifth album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" drops later this month, comparison's to Taylor Swift's already-platinum "Speak Now" will abound.

But let's get a jump on the debate with the tools at hand: Which of these albums has the uglier cover?Click Track's contributors mulled it over for our weekly Taking sides post, and boy do our retinas hurt.

West hired painter George Condo to design an album cover that's already been rejected by certain retailers, not for its hideousness, but for its suggestive content. Swift has had no such trouble, but her album art is still pretty garish: A CD booklet brimming with portraits of the young singer looking forlorn as a fairy-dust of cursive script and photoshop glitter swirls around her.

Which album cover is uglier? Vote in our poll below and read our thoughts after the jump.

Allison Stewart: They're both pretty homely, but at least Taylor Swift's is in keeping with her aesthetic: She's a 20 year-old girl who likes bright colors and swirly things and, I imagine, putting little hearts over her "I"'s. Her Stevie-Nicks-In-Fairyland vibe is perfectly in keeping with that. And Swift's personal style is seriously good.

Her, I don't worry about. Kayne, on the other hand, should know better, and maybe he does: Nobody does something that ugly by accident, especially someone like West, who's a student of great design. I'm not sure why he would tease that as the album art, but no way was that intended to be the original cover. way.

Chris Richards: Can you imagine if the next Waka Flocka mixtape cover looked like this? Probably not. That's because Kanye West is the only hip-hop star who would recruit someone like George Condo to design his album jacket. And as jarring as the now-infamous Kanye-and-phoenix painting is, it still shows West utilizing some highbrow tools to push our collective buttons.

Taylor's cover, however, feels like it's trying to take us back to a decade I've spent half my life trying to forget. I understand that the '90s were Taylor's formative years and that many of the really-great songs on her really-really-great new album are about longing for a childhood that ended too soon.

But this CD booklet looks like a Sarah McLachalan album cover that ate too many Skittles and threw up on itself.

David Malitz: I don't think either of them are all that hideous! Kanye's looks like some cartoony Francis Bacon ripoff but it sure beats a sunwashed faux-polaroid of Yeezy standing next to a tree in front of a lake.

And Taylor's isn't as much ugly as it is just overbearing and corny. A dozen themed portraits to go with each song? Don't need it. Somehow, she one-ups Kanye on the conceitedness factor here.

By Click Track  | November 4, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Taking sides  | Tags:  Kanye West, Taylor Swift  
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Next: Archive: The elevator doesn't stop here anymore. Music legend Roky Erickson, godfather of the psychedelic sound, survived the '60s. Sort of.


Considering no one buys albumns anymore, is there a need for debate? I will buy neither, but I am sure both would have the same impact on me if viewed from my Nano.Zero.

The only downside to MP3s is that it made album art and inserts obsolete. sigh...

Posted by: Snapper24 | November 4, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Which is uglier?
Are you kidding me?
Ersatz country v. crap-rap/s#*^t-hop?

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | November 4, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Forget the album covers. One of the artists themselves is ugly both inside and out. Guess which.

Posted by: Lefty_ | November 4, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

It's kinda awesome to be asked to judge a cover that has been redacted. If you assume the readers have seen it else where, why cover it? Really, it's not that offensive.

I definitely choose the blocked-out version of Kanye's album as the best. Very modernist.

Posted by: JSGNWDC | November 5, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

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