Simon Vozick-Levinson
April 03, 2007 AT 12:00 PM EDT

The cover images for two of this spring’s most anticipated releases — Arctic Monkeys’ Favourite Worst Nightmare and Björk’s Volta — happened to float onto the Web almost simultaneously yesterday. For no other reason than that, let’s put ’em head to head and see which one wins!

In one corner: Hey, hey, they’re the Monkeys.
Points in their favor:
The dingy-looking urban building with crazy psychedelic colors leaking out of its windows makes a nice visual metaphor for the band’s combination of everyday lyrical details and revved-up riffs. Modern life may look dismal from far off, but there’s a wild party hiding inside! Or something. Plus, the text appears in a sweet retro-scrawl font.
Points against:
When all’s said and done, it’s sorta boring. Where’s the human element? I understand if the kids in the band don’t want to show their own faces, but couldn’t they at least have talked the bloke from their last cover into giving a repeat grimace?

In the opposite corner: Reykjavik’s finest.
Points in her favor:
At least it’s not the truly god-awful potential cover which leaked a couple weeks ago. And the new day-glo color scheme has a certain eye-catching quality.
Points against:
What exactly is she sitting in/dressed as?! A fruit? A flower? An animal? Some freakishly mutated variant of the old Apple logo?Maybe Björk herself can shed some light on the subject. “It was amagical atmosphere in the photo shoot,” she told Pitchfork’s BrandonStosuy. “[I]t was about this sort of spirit of — like a woman who iskind of…into rave, no I’m just kidding. Like, a sort of celebrationof that ancient, but at the same time kind of neon.” Um…right.

So neither image is an outright eyesore, but both feel like they couldhave benefited from at least a little redesign time. (Who knows — maybethey’ll look totally different by the time they hit shelves.) And bothcovers get significant boosts from the awesome music that’s allbut sure to be packaged behind them. Sounds like a fair-and-square tieto me. How about you, PopWatchers? Will either of these pics send yourunning in horror from the record-store aisle, or inspire you to hangan enlarged print above your dinner table? Do you even care what albumcovers look like in this iPod age?

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