Critique! 8 – Mat Zo – Damage Control

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Mat Zo’s debut album “Damage Control” was released on iTunes on November 5th.
The album cover depicts a widening crack on a ground surface ending/ beginning at a point where there is a silhouette of a man standing. 

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An article on Dancing Astronaut reveals, “In a similar vein to Random Access Memories, Damage Control looks to the past for inspiration. “I was listening to a lot of 60′s and 70′s soul, punk, and pop — a lot of old music,” Zo explains.

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There is great use of White space and contrast. There is also a nice feeling of distance with no additional visual cues aside from the large crack in the “ground”. Looking closely at the figure in the background you’ll notice that the man is casting a shadow which is a nice detail. The psychedelic marbling effect may be a reflection of the type of music on the album. I like how the treatment of the cover makes me think about how/if it depicts the title. Is the silhouette of the man in the background causing this earthquake or putting an end to it? The small cracks that emimate from the larger chasm are also nice details. The minimalist approach works well here.


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Critique! 3

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Avicii’s latest album titled “True” offers up a simplistic approach to album art. The title is the main focus here. “True” which appears to be hand drawn/inked is in white set against a dark grey background, with a black silhouetted figure. Looking closely at the type, it is semi-transparent, and the edge that defines the figure in the background can be seen through it. With such stark contrast between the background and type treatment, the text might have benefited from being completely opaque. The edges that are seen through the type do not contribute anything to the image, and they do not assist the viewer in determining what the silhouette is. Avicii’s logo is placed underneath the type treatment and at the bottom is a white bar with the record label’s name and logo. This bar may have been the marketing team’s addition, however it detracts from the overall image.

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I am a fan of hand drawn type and the brushed ink effect adds some character to an otherwise bland cover.

Simplicity and high contrast definately help the album stand out on itunes (not to mention the marketing placement and publicity), but I’m not sure if there’s anything about it that is descriptive of the music. It isn’t anything I haven’t seen before.

What are your thoughts?