Album Art

As a child, few things were more sublime than a bowl of cereal eaten leisurely while reading the Sunday comics. My sisters and I would each scheme to be the first to grab the newspaper. Newspaper comics, in color, happened only once a week, and scarcity made them more cherished and worth anticipating. Now, comics are as close as the nearest smartphone. While comics are plentiful,  the digital experience is not as enjoyable.

Similarly, there is so much internet info on music and artists that it can be overwhelming to decide what source to read. I cherish album art and liner notes in much the same way I once did the Sunday comics. They have long offered insights into the world of musicians, originating before the internet made it easy to see any video performance on-demand. Together, album art and liner notes allow one to peer into the making of the album and the mind of the artist.

Recently, I read that CD collecting has become a thing—I get that. The album art and liner notes are still there, and one can curate them like any art item. In college, one’s album collection, prominently displayed, spoke of your tastes and inclinations—favorites went up on the wall. I buy a lot of digital music, but occasionally, I purchase classic jazz CDs because I want the album art and notes. Sure, I could look at the cover art and read the notes online, but holding them in my hands is more enjoyable—they also go better with cereal.

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