Best Album Covers of the 2000s

Share
Covering pop to hip-hop, here is a list of the best album covers of the 2000s. A collection of 50 albums to understand trends in graphic design that defined the era's music industry.

In this blog post, part of a series of about the best album covers of the past 50 years, we feature all the best album covers of the 2000s, a decade marked by an explosion of diverse music genres. Musically the beginning of the millenium saw the rise of digital pop and indie bands, plus the evolution of hip-hop. Here we take s a closer look at how 2000s album covers captured the essence of their time, becoming iconic symbols in the music industry and beyond.

2000s Best Music Art: Our Selection

The 2000s are a very rich decade in music and graphic design. These are some of the best album covers of those years, the result of the taste and spirit of the 2000s.. check them out!

Alice in Chains, Black Gives Way to Blue - 2009

Best Album Covers of 2000s

One of the best 2000s album covers, Alice in Chains Black gives way to blue features an anatomically detailed heart set against a dark, textured background. Its illustration style contrasts the organic intricacies of the heart with the album’s title, evoking a somber and reflective mood.

The Prodigy, Invaders Must Die - 2009

The Prodigy, Invaders Must Die - 2009

This cover art presents a stark, futuristic design with angular shapes and a monochrome palette, punctuated by vibrant orange text. The geometric abstraction evokes a sense of movement and rebellion, fitting for the band’s high-energy music.

Radiohead, Hail to the Thief - 2003

Best Album covers of 2000s

The album cover is a collage of words against a backdrop of expressive brushstrokes, reflecting chaos and information overload. The typography varies in size and orientation, creating a sense of disarray and societal critique, characteristic of the band’s thematic concerns.

Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion - 2009

Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion - 2009

Featuring a hypnotic, optical illusion, the cover of Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective is often listed among the best album covers of the 2000s. The repetitive, flowing design captures the album’s dynamic and fluid soundscapes.

Interpol, Our Love to Admire - 2007

2000s best album art

The cover art for Our Love to Admire by Interpol captures a dramatic natural history diorama, symbolizing raw, untamed energy. It reflects the album’s intense and visceral sound, contrasting the calm scenery with the ferocity of the animal interaction.

Mars Volta, Frances the Mute - 2005

Mars Volta, Frances the Mute - 2005

The Mars Volta’s Frances the Mute album cover is celebrated as one of the best album covers of the 2000s. It features a surreal and vivid painting, with a collage of elements that seem to defy reality, mirroring the band’s experimental and progressive musical style.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, By the Way - 2002

Red Hot Chili Peppers, By the Way - 2002

The cover for By the Way features a washed-out, almost ghostly figure obscured by splashes of color, reflecting the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ blend of melancholy and exuberance. The layered textures and smeared lettering create a sense of movement and raw emotion.

Radiohead, Amnesiac - 2001

indieblog best album covers 2000s 8

Amnesiac by Radiohead features a minimalist sketch of a crying figure on a textured red background. Its simplicity and worn look evoke feelings of nostalgia and loss, resonating with the album’s themes of memory and identity.

The Strokes, Room on Fire - 2003

The Strokes, Room on Fire - 2003​

The Strokes’ Room on Fire is often featured in discussions about the best album covers of the 2000s. Its cover art is a collage of abstract and figurative elements, evoking a retro aesthetic that complements the band’s garage rock revival sound.

The Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots - 2002

2000s best album covers

The album cover for Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips is often included in lists of the best album covers of the 2000s. It presents a whimsical painting of a figure confronting a large robot, symbolizing the album’s conceptual narrative and psychedelic sound.

Thrice, Vheissu - 2005

Thrice, Vheissu - 2005

Vheissu by Thrice features an album cover with an esoteric wheel of symbols and text, implying depth and mystery. The monochromatic scheme and intricate illustrations reflect the band’s complex and layered sounds.

Joanna Newsom, The Milk-Eyed Mender - 2004

best album covers of 2000s

The album cover for The Milk-Eyed Mender showcases Joanna Newsom’s eclectic style with a patchwork of whimsical, hand-drawn illustrations. Its folk-art aesthetic complements the singer’s idiosyncratic sound and lyrical storytelling, creating a visually engaging and endearing presentation.

Sufjan Stevens, Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lake State - 2003

Sufjan Stevens, Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lake State - 2003

Michigan by Sufjan Stevens portrays a nostalgic postcard style, capturing the essence of the state with iconic imagery. Its quaint and folk-inspired illustrations echo the album’s intimate exploration of place and identity.

Converge, Axe to Fall - 2009

10029535

The album cover features a gritty, abstract design with a dominant black background overlaid with gold and blue paint splatters. This chaotic mix of colors and shapes creates an aggressive visual that complements the band’s intense musical style.

Neko Case, Middle Cyclone - 2009

Neko Case, Middle Cyclone - 2009

This 2000s album cover art is striking with its surreal imagery. Neko Case is depicted as a warrior atop a classic car, wielding a sword. The juxtaposition of vintage Americana with a fierce, fantastical element creates a compelling visual narrative.

Paramore, Riot! - 2007

Paramore, Riot! - 2007

The cover art is a dynamic array of “Riot” and “Paramore” scribbles, converging to form a chaotic yet cohesive pattern in one of 2000s best album covers. The central, bold “RIOT!” in red acts as a visual anchor amidst the black and white text, symbolizing both rebellion and the energy of the band’s music.

Daft Punk, Discovery - 2001

Daft Punk, Discovery - 2001

This iconic 2000s album covers is minimalist yet futuristic. The glossy, metallic finish of the Daft Punk logo gives a liquid mercury appearance, suggesting fluidity and movement. It’s set against a stark black background, which makes the luminescent colors shimmer, reflecting the album’s innovative electronic music.

The White Stripes, Elephant - 2003

best album covers of 2000s

This album cover features a dramatic red backdrop that contrasts with the black and white attire of The White Stripes. Meg White’s ethereal white dress and Jack White’s vibrant red suit create a visual tension that is both stark and theatrical, capturing the essence of the duo’s dynamic and minimalist aesthetic.

Santigold, Santogold - 2008

Santigold, Santogold - 2008

One of the best album covers of the 2000s, it contrasts a grayscale photo with a burst of glittering gold spilling from the subject’s mouth. This sparkling cascade juxtaposes the mundanity of the pose with the glamor and excess associated with pop music.

A Tribe Called Quest, Beats, Rhymes and Life - 1996

A Tribe Called Quest, Beats, Rhymes and Life - 1996

This album cover features a collage of saturated photographs, creating a scrapbook effect that feels both personal and dynamic. The visual cacophony reflects the complexity and energy of the band’s music, as well as the diverse experiences and stories contained within the album.

R.E.M., Accelerate - 2008

R.E.M., Accelerate - 2008

The album cover features a stark black and white urban landscape with the band’s name towering over the cityscape. The angular, bold typography of R.E.M. adds a sense of immediacy and movement, mirroring the album’s title Accelerate and its energetic rock sound.

Anathema, A Natural Disaster - 2003

Anathema, A Natural Disaster - 2003

The album cover portrays a serene yet somber scene with a lone figure in a boat on a still lake under a fiery red sky. The contrast of the calm water with the intense sky evokes a sense of tranquility amidst impending tumult, reflecting the album’s emotive themes.

Bright Eyes, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning - 2005

Bright Eyes, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning - 2005

The cover art is a delicate embroidery that lends a handcrafted, intimate feel to the album. The depiction of urban architecture with a naturalistic touch contrasts with the red embroidered sun, suggesting a dawning awareness or revelation.

Queens of the Stone Age, Era Vulgaris - 2007

indieblog best album covers 2000s 24

One of the best rock album covers of 2000s, QOTSA features quirky, wasted light bulbs set against a bold pink background. The playful, cartoonish graphics contrast with the band’s gritty rock sound, offering a visual pun on ‘idea generation’ and the album’s illuminating energy.

Porcupine Tree, Deadwing - 2005

indieblog best album covers 2000s 25

The album cover is atmospheric, featuring a silhouetted figure looking towards a dusky, ethereal landscape. The sepia-toned palette and textured overlay give a sense of nostalgia and mystery, reflecting the album’s themes of introspection and the supernatural.

David Byrne and Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today - 2008

David Byrne and Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today - 2008

The album artwork features an isometric view of a house and its surroundings, illustrating a detailed and tranquil domestic scene. The vibrant greens and the structured environment reflect the album’s exploration of themes of everyday life through a lens of clarity and precision.

Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes - 2008

Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes - 2008

The cover features Pieter Bruegel the Elder‘s painting “Netherlandish Proverbs,” a vivid, detailed depiction of 16th-century village life. Its use connects the album to themes of pastoralism, community, and the cycles of life, aligning with the band’s folksy harmonies and timeless sound.

Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago - 2007

Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago - 2007

The cover art evokes a sense of isolation with its winter landscape, barren tree, and obscured details. The muted colors and natural imagery reflect the introspective and raw quality of the music, created during a solitary winter in Wisconsin.

Justice, † (Cross) - 2007

Justice, † (Cross) - 2007

The album cover is minimalistic and bold, with a black background and a glowing golden cross. This simple yet powerful imagery captures the essence of the band’s electronic music, which blends heavy beats with a near-religious fervor, and reflects the album’s iconic status in the electro-house movement.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, It's Blitz! - 2009

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, It's Blitz! - 2009

The album cover for It’s Blitz! is a vibrant collage of images and neon colors that captures the energetic and eclectic nature of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The chaotic blend of graphics and text creates a sense of movement and raw punk aesthetic.

Iron and Wine, The Shepherd's Dog - 2007

Iron and Wine, The Shepherd's Dog - 2007

One of the best 2000s album covers, it features a vibrant expressionist style painting of a dog. The use of contrasting colors, such as the bright yellow background against the deep purples and pinks, creates an energetic and captivating visual that stands out boldly.

Radiohead, Kid A - 2000

best album covers of all time - Radiohead kid a

The cover art for “Kid A” displays a stark, dystopian landscape. Its collage of jagged mountain peaks and ominous, fiery skies, juxtaposed with glitchy, digital artifacts, reflects the album’s experimental nature and themes of technological unease.

Hosannas from the Basements of Hell - 2006

best album covers of 2000s

This cover art merges classic art with surreal modern elements, creating a jarring effect. The historical painting is disrupted by vibrant, alien-like additions, symbolizing a clash between the traditional and the contemporary, perhaps reflective of the album’s musical fusion.

Porcupine Tree, Lightbulb Sun - 2000

Porcupine Tree, Lightbulb Sun - 2000

The Lightbulb Sun album cover by Porcupine Tree is one of the best album covers of the 2000s, featuring a translucent figure holding a glowing lightbulb. The overlay of light and texture gives a dreamlike quality, fitting the band’s atmospheric sound.

M.I.A., Kala - 2007

2000s best pop album covers

This album cover is a digital collage with a psychedelic palette, embodying the global and eclectic nature of M.I.A.’s music. The repetitive motifs and central portrait suggest a convergence of culture and technology, resonating with the album’s energetic fusion of genres.

Mos Def, The Ecstatic - 2009

Mos Def, The Ecstatic - 2009

The album cover for The Ecstatic employs a monochromatic red hue over a dynamic image of a figure in motion through doorways, suggesting a journey or transition. The simplicity and motion blur convey a sense of urgency and raw energy, reflective of the album’s vibrant and eclectic sound.

Muse, Absolution - 2003

indieblog best album covers 2000s 37 1

Regarded as one of the best album covers of the 2000s, “Absolution” by Muse features an overhead shot of a person and their shadows sprawling outward. The cover’s starkness and multiple shadows cast in different directions convey a sense of fragmentation and disorientation, mirroring the album’s themes of uncertainty and search for truth.

Arcade Fire, Neon Bible - 2007

indieblog best album covers 2000s 38 1

The Neon Bible cover by Arcade Fire, one of the best album covers of the 2000s, features a mirrored image creating an abstract, kaleidoscopic effect. The neon glow against the dark background evokes the album’s exploration of consumerism and religion within the modern world.

Edan, Beauty and the Beat - 2005

Edan, Beauty and the Beat - 2005

The cover of Beauty and the Beat by Edan stands out as one of the best album covers of the 2000s with its psychedelic swirls intertwined with a collage of vintage artist headshots. This visual mash-up of eras encapsulates the album’s blend of old-school hip-hop with a trippy, modern twist.

Panda Bear, Person Pitch - 2007

Panda Bear, Person Pitch - 2007

The cover for Person Pitch by Panda Bear is a surreal collage of children in a pool with animal heads, reflecting the album’s experimental nature. It’s whimsical yet disconcerting, symbolizing the blend of innocence and wildness, akin to the music’s combination of organic sounds and electronic manipulation.

Neon Indian, Psychic Chasms - 2009

Neon Indian, Psychic Chasms - 2009

The cover of Psychic Chasms by Neon Indian uses a collage of paper cutouts, creating an abstract and colorful visual. The geometric shapes and warm colors reflect the album’s lo-fi, psychedelic sound, evoking a retro-futuristic feel that complements the music’s nostalgic yet innovative tone.

Santana, Shaman - 2002

2000s best rock album covers

The Shaman album cover features a vivid tapestry of spiritual and cultural symbols, centered around an ethereal portrait of Carlos Santana. The rich, saturated colors and intricate iconography create a visual representation of the album’s diverse musical influences and Santana’s signature fusion of rock, Latin, and jazz elements.

Beck, Sea Change - 2002

Beck, Sea Change - 2002

The album cover of Sea Change presents a close-up of Beck’s face overlaid with smears of translucent, colorful shapes, symbolizing emotional overlay and complexity. This design captures the introspective and melancholic mood of the album, conveying a sense of depth beneath the surface.

Metallica, St. Anger - 2003

Metallica, St. Anger - 2003

The cover art for Metallica’s St. Anger album is iconic and impactful with its stark, red-tinged illustration of a clenched fist wrapped in a barbed wire. It’s a powerful visual metaphor for the album’s raw, unfiltered aggression and themes of frustration and restraint.

The Mars Volta, Bedlam in Goliath - 2008

The Mars Volta, Bedlam in Goliath - 2008

The cover art for Bedlam in Goliath employs bright colors and cultural motifs to capture The Mars Volta’s eclectic sound. The juxtaposition of traditional attire and modern elements reflects the fusion of progressive rock with diverse influences, encapsulating the album’s intense, chaotic energy.

The Strokes, First Impressions of Earth - 2006

The Strokes, First Impressions of Earth - 2006

The album cover displays a minimalist aesthetic, utilizing abstract black and white lines with a singular streak of red to create a striking visual impact. This simplicity suggests a departure from complexity, aligning with The Strokes’ straightforward garage rock style.

Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - 2002

best album covers of the 2000s

The cover for Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is an exercise in subdued tones and architectural photography, capturing Chicago’s Marina City in a sepia overlay. This reflects the album’s themes of complexity and nostalgia, while the minimalistic design mirrors the band’s exploration of simplicity within intricate soundscapes.

Architecture in Helsinki, Places Like This - 2007

Architecture in Helsinki, Places Like This - 2007

Places Like This, one of the best 2000s album covers, is a burst of vibrant, cartoonish illustrations, embodying the band’s indie pop quirkiness. The dense, bustling cityscape interspersed with peculiar characters and fantastical elements captures the album’s eclectic and playful spirit.

Coldplay, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends - 2008

Best Album Covers of the 2000s

The cover art for “Viva la Vida” repurposes Eugène Delacroix’s iconic painting, “Liberty Leading the People,” overlaid with bold, white graffiti-style text. This blend of classical art and modern typography reflects the album’s theme of revolution and the band’s fusion of historical depth with contemporary sound.

Best album covers of the 2000s.. and more!

Researching the best album covers of the 2000s has been a lot of fun. We love the decades’s diversity, and being big fans of everything indie, this is one of the best decades for us (guess what, we love indie rock). Like all music and graphic design lovers, we know that once started visually researching a topic, there is always a need for more. So here we go with more album covers collections that have made graphic design history, and that will possibly give you the right kick for the your creative project. Here we go: 

Here are hundreds of album covers that made music history in the past half a century, we hope you will enjoy the visual research and find inspiration for amazing artwork!

Picture of Indieground Design

Indieground Design

We are a team of designers, developers & photographers from Italy and we love to create striking graphic resources! Have a look around our website to discover more about what we do and the services we offer!

Picture of Indieground Design

Indieground Design

We are a team of designers, developers & photographers from Italy and we love to create striking graphic resources! Have a look around our website to discover more about what we do and the services we offer!

Popular Articles
From the Shop
Check our premium products
Other Creative Stories
Wanna See More?
We have an entire archive of articles about graphic design, pop culture and 80s and 90s aesthetics. Check it out!

Follow us