Last Friday, the Handsome Furs released the cover of their new album Sound Kapital and made its first single, “Repatriated,” available to the internet. The cover features a naked woman standing underneath an overpass—her torso, lit from the side, contrasts with the shadows from the highways arching above her. It’s a shot with power and presence—the drama of linear perspective highlights the figure’s curves and throws them unabashedly into the foreground. If anything, the photograph resembles an illustration by Ayn Rand artist Nick Gaetano—the angle, the contrast, the sharp lines, the industrial background, the humanist bent. And, like much great art, the shot celebrates the female form. But, of course, the internet likes its naked ladies for porn. And music bloggers aren’t helping.
Pitchfork merely referred to the album art as “NSFW” and implied it was untame. Under the Radar led with, “If there’s kids around, cover their eyes: That’s the official album art for Handsome Furs’ forthcoming LP, and it leaves very, very little to be desired.” Other media descriptors were “scandalous,” “racy,” “outrageous” and CHARTAttack ran the headline, “Handsome Furs Album Cover is a Pervert’s Dream,” along with this oh-so-clever intro:
“The artwork for Handsome Furs’ third full-length LP, Sound Kapital, out June 28 via Sub Pop gives a whole new meaning to the term “handsome furs” as the NSFW cover boasts a completely naked woman showing off her nether region’s landing strip.”
Wow. I guess the naked female form, in all its inherent perviness, is really threatening to modesty and self-control. Looking at it should only be undertaken in shame and privacy, and definitely kept off album covers. I reflect on my own trouble getting up each day and getting dressed. After all, if I accidentally forget to cover my mirror and see my “nether region’s landing strip,” I shriek and cover my eyes. My day, inevitably, is ruined.
Ugh. It’s easy to forget how many people’s notions about sex are formed by the gaudiest of porn, the cheapest commodification of bodies. C’mon tastemakers, you can do better.
Now here’s some naked John and Yoko. Yup, NEKKID.