Gigwise readers cast their critical eyes over the year's album sleeves - see the best and worst
Michael Baggs

09:55 24th December 2012

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Gigwise readers have named Muse's sixth album, The 2nd Law, as having the best album art of the year. The psychedelic artwork, affectionately known by many as a 'flourescent broccoli' has topped our poll to find the greatest of 2012.

The image is a photograph of the human brain taken from The Human Connectome Project, a project set up to highlight the pathways of the brain by illustrating them with different luminous colours.

Muse have had a hugely successful year, having toured extensively across the UK and Europe and also hitting No.1 with the album - making it their fourth to top the UK charts. The 2nd Law has reached Gold status in the UK since its release in October 2012, and will no doubt shift many more copies as the band continue to tour throughout 2013.

Muse beat X Factor survivor Aiden Grimshaw, who takes second place in our end of year poll. His debut album, Misty Eye, features an image of (surprise surprise) an eye, surrounded by sepia toned images depicting romance, tragedy and loss.

Third in the poll is Saint Etienne, with their London road-map inspired album artwork for Words And Music. On their brilliant cover, roads are replaced with the song titles referring to roads or journeys, such as 'The Long And Winding Road' and 'Electric Avenue'.

Field place fourth with their 3D artwork for their Mercury Music Prize nominated release Plumb, while Mumford & Sons claim fifth for the cover of Babel, which shows the band motionless in the midst of a frenzied party scene.

Muse performed across the UK and Europe in 2012

Despite their like for Muse's luminous artwork, Gigwise readers are no fans of neon (and naked breasts) it appears, with the least popular album artwork featuring extremely bright colours - or, in Rihanna's case, partial nudity.

Nicki Minaj's ghastly Roman Reloaded has been voted the least popular of the year, with Hooded Fang's Tosta Mista almost as unpopular, second from bottom. Rihanna's provocative Unapologetic is third least favourite, Madonna's MDNA fourth from bottom and Major Lazer's muscular Get Free EP artwork is fifth from bottom.

Below: check out the album artwork voted best - and worst of 2012

  • No.1: Muse - The 2nd Law

  • No.2: Aiden Grimshaw - Misty Eye

  • No.3: Saint Etienne - Words And Music

  • No.4: Field Music - Plumb

  • No.5: Mumford & Sons - Babel

  • No.1 worst: Nicki Minaj - Roman Reloaded

  • No.2 worst: Hooded Fang - Tosta Mista

  • No.3 worst: Rihanna - Unapologetic

  • No.4 worst: Madonna - MDNA

  • No.5 worst: Major Lazer - Get Free EP

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