Buffalo Chips - "Vowel Movements"

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Buffalo Chips - "Vowel Movements"

Postby singyourheart » Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:38 am

i had read their review, but on first glance had missed this until someone pointed it out to me - are they for real with that cover art? that is totally disgusting and sophomoric. even for college kids. who would want to buy that? yeah, the chicks really dig the whole toilet image, fellas.
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Postby jpchip » Thu Aug 19, 2004 1:33 pm

You're right.

Remind me not to buy "Schindler's List" because it displays a swastika on the case.
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Postby carlyonders » Fri Aug 20, 2004 6:03 am

jpchip wrote:You're right.

Remind me not to buy "Schindler's List" because it displays a swastika on the case.


Hey - great analogy! Soooooo, if one follows your analogy, then Swastika on the cover of Schindler's List (cuz it deals with things Nazis did) is to a reference to a toilet filled with crap on the cover of your CD, cuz it contains...

Um, no, I didn't think so. Looking at the CD cover, it just. looks. nasty. I think that was the point being made - as in, how could this sorta cover help your cause/cd sales?
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Postby jpchip » Fri Aug 20, 2004 7:39 am

Heh, OK - hoist by my own petard on that analogy.

But seriously - Vowel Movements is an album name that's been bandied about for years, so we decided to finally just use it. We all think the cover's hilarious, and I especially like the way the track list looks on the back. If you guys think it's gross, well...I mean, it IS a /clean/ toilet and those are brand new foam letters. I don't really understand the big deal anyway - I don't even know what the covers to over half of my CDs look like anyway.

And as far as it "getting the chicks..." It was designed and done by a female art major of ours. I guess Buffalo is just way off-track from the rest of the world.
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re: album design

Postby jonathansears » Fri Aug 20, 2004 10:32 am

I think that the look of an album is very relevant to the overall quality of the project, but it depends on what it is you expected to get out of the album that defines its success.

It seems that from your comments the 'chips were looking for the a cappella world to take this album seriously. Maybe you (and others) feel that its a top-notch project that should be deserving of a cappella fame. If that is what you're after, then you chose the entirely wrong cover art. It's hard to take an album that looks like that seriously.

Maybe you want to be proud of this and show it to your kids someday as something daddy did in college. If that is the case, then you chose the entirely wrong cover art. "Why are you flushing my toys, daddy?!?"

Maybe you just wanted a fun, yearbook album for friends and family that you won't even listen to (let alone look at) five years down the road. If that is the case, then you have succeeded with the perfect college, frat-boy, ill-humored album cover.

Whether it was a good choice of album art can only be decided on by the group releasing the album ... because only they know what they wanted out of the project.

Since we are on the subject -- here are some recently rarb-reviewed collegiate albums that have covers that I think are fantastic for a serious respect-seeking album, as well as ones that were hopefully just done for-this-time-of-our-life albums:

SERIOUS:
http://www.rarb.org/reviews/463.html
http://www.rarb.org/reviews/450.html
http://www.rarb.org/reviews/429.html
http://www.rarb.org/reviews/425.html

HOPEFULLY NOT SERIOUS:
http://www.rarb.org/reviews/457.html <-- though ironically funny
http://www.rarb.org/reviews/440.html
http://www.rarb.org/reviews/405.html
Jonathan Sears
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Certified ICCA Adjudicator
NCHSA Adjudicator
Lunatic Groove (2002 - 2005)
Elizabethtown Phalanx (1996-2000)
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Postby jpchip » Fri Aug 20, 2004 10:57 am

Ahh, I see what you're saying.

I rather like the look of 450 and 425 - very Midnight Ramblers-esque (or something. But 463 and 429 - at least to me - say "booooring."

We're not a serious group, and by that I mean that we like to have a lot of wacky fun. But just because Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is a totally loony movie doesn't mean it's without merit; it's just a wholly different kind of merit than that belonging to American Beauty or Casablanca. We like being Chevy Chase, it's what we do - don't look to us to be Al Pacino.

On the other hand, 405 is an example of what I would call "totally vapid cover art," though I was somewhat amused by 457 and I actually laughed at 440. Like you said, it's all in what you expect from the album. I didn't think the cover of Vowel Movements was as bad as that on 405, but maybe I'm just a little too biased. Or maybe I have less of a problem with toilets than everyone else since I've cleaned so many of them at various jobs - to me they're no more disgusting than your average sink...hmm, perhaps our next album could be "The Kitchen Sink." We could do a whole line of porcelain object-oriented albums. :-p
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Postby nosugrefneb » Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:27 pm

Why should it matter what is on the cover? Why should it matter, for that matter, what the title is, or what colors are used, or whether it falls within a certain range of professionalism? Maybe all album covers should just be white, plain white, so that people couldn't decide whether to buy them, musical compositions, based on the artwork. Maybe people should start leaving their names off the albums too, just in case their name is too unprofessional-sounding. That surely would make for a bad album.

Would the original query even have been posed if the review was a bit more favorable? Would you, singyourheart, perhaps instead have said, "Huh, that's kind of funny!"?

Obviously, jpchip seems to think that the CONTENTS are professional, and perhaps if we deem it necessary, Seth and Ben should add a category for cover art, because that obviously has a huge impact on the CONTENTS.

Who cares?

Ben
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Postby GenesisPhreak » Fri Aug 20, 2004 6:02 pm

clap clap clap "bravo ben" well said
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Postby cjmike » Fri Aug 20, 2004 8:16 pm

It's easy to say "don't judge a book by its cover," (or in this case, a CD by its cover) but too often consumers do make spending decisions largely based upon the package in which the product is contained. Book publishers will, every few years, put new covers on old classics to make sure they are eye-catching enough for people to pick them up in the store. Often times, the fact that the book is considered one of the classics is not sufficient to guarantee sales. If a consumer has never heard a CD before, the cover art is very much a determining factor in whether or not they will purchase the product. I, for one, would want to make sure that the product I put out had a professional looking exterior that would entice people to buy. This isn't a value judgement about whether or not the Vowel Movements cover art would attract or repel consumers, because that's the groups decision to make and no one elses. But, marketing matters, and it's awfully idealistic to assume that the art will sell itself.

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Postby Nick Lyons » Sun Aug 22, 2004 6:11 pm

First of all, to Sears I say, I SINCERELY hope that the next album you are a part of is the most amazing thing to cross the a cappella world since vocal percussion... because after your, simply put, rude comments, you'll be up against a lot of opposition. It really disturbs me that we call ourselves an "a cappella community," which fosters feelings of camaraderie and fellowship, when you choose to, so tactlessly, degrade someone else's work. Whether or not it's your favorite album in the world, it doesn't change the fact that they put a lot of work and money into it. And, you may be a RARB reviewer, an ex-RARB reviewer, whatever... it doesn't give you the right to bash everyone else...

Deke Sharon and Bill Hare aren't huge names in the industry just because they've done all the things they have. Though the list for each of them is long, it's the way they carry themselves that make them so popular in the industry. You don't hear them speak negatively about others, which earns them the respect that they have.

I'm sorry for this post, but your post REALLY disturbed me, because it was completely uncalled for. The album art is what it is, a play on the title of the album. With everything ON the album to stress about, the title of it usually takes a back shelf. It works for them, and that's what matters. All the references to crap on their album is uncalled for, unless you have a past that includes Bobby McFerrin type chart toppers...

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Postby jsdiamant » Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:21 am

whoa. chill people. this thread isn't about the album's musical merit. it's about the cover art, and we all have the right to express our opinions.

Joshua S. Diamant RARB '02-'05

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Postby jonathansears » Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:15 am

WareHauser wrote:First of all, to Sears I say, I SINCERELY hope that the next album you are a part of is the most amazing thing to cross the a cappella world since vocal percussion... because after your, simply put, rude comments, you'll be up against a lot of opposition. It really disturbs me that we call ourselves an "a cappella community," which fosters feelings of camaraderie and fellowship, when you choose to, so tactlessly, degrade someone else's work. Whether or not it's your favorite album in the world, it doesn't change the fact that they put a lot of work and money into it. And, you may be a RARB reviewer, an ex-RARB reviewer, whatever... it doesn't give you the right to bash everyone else...


Are you responding to my review of this album? Because if you're responding to my post, then i'm a bit confused. My post explained, in my opinion, that cover art does affect the overall quality of an album but that only the group knows what it is that they are looking to achieve. There are thousands of reasons a group will choose the design that they do for an album, and only they can determine its success. Hopefully you'll re-read my post and see that I was not negative, I was just expressing an honest and respectable opinion.

In fact, if you look at jpchip's response (the gentleman who's group is involved in this thread) .. he might not agree with me, but at least he understands what I said. He didn't seem to take my response as negative in nature.
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Elizabethtown Phalanx (1996-2000)
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where's matt?

Postby rebecca » Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:47 am

I miss Matt Cohen. The boy can write, plus he has a great sense of which nonseqiturs are INTERESTING and which ones inspire eye rolling boredom.

Oh yeah, and he's a graphic design god.
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Postby jpchip » Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:15 pm

I'm sorry rebecca, was there a point to that post other than announcing to the world that you're a bitch?

If you think this thread is boring, here's an idea: DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME READING IT. And don't waste our time by making some inane little post comparing us to someone whom we may or may not know and indirectly saying how much better he supposedly is than us.

Bite me.
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Postby seth » Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:30 pm

Matt reviewed 104 albums for RARB from 1996 through 2001. See his bio page for links to most of them.
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