An album isn't just about the music. Yes, the sounds are without a doubt its most essential element, but we must acknowledge the role of cover art in making it whole. Be it the fold-out gatefolds of the vinyl era, the pull-out liner notes in CD cases or the icon on a digital player, these visuals have an important role in defining how we look at a particular release. However, one Iranian streaming site, Melovaz, isn't happy with how some of them look. In fact, they're so worried these album covers might be a bad influence on their listeners, they're censoring them. What devil seeds are these pictures featuring, you ask? Women.
Lady Gaga - Joanne
"I was casually scrolling through Reddit when a user there submitted a photo of Taylor Swift's new album cover without herself, just the album title," Izzi, the Twitter user who spread the message, told Bored Panda. "In the comment section, someone linked to that Iranian music streaming site so I went there and discovered the huge collection of photoshopped music covers specifically involving women."
At first, he was surprised and in disbelief, however, due to the ridiculousness of the situation, Izzi couldn't help but laugh at some of the horrible jobs they did to remove the female artists from their covers. "That was when I felt like I should share this on my Twitter."
"The editing for A Star Is Born's song Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper infuriated me the most. They completely censored and removed Gaga but not Brad, and even did a terrible job at it. That was so unnecessary."
"I would like to add that I know for a fact that some countries in the Middle East would censor its female images by adding clothes and hijabs, I'm not okay with that, but this Iranian streaming site takes it to a whole new level by erasing every trace of them," Izzi said. "I hope this brings some awareness to the world that some women still face this kind of discrimination even in the 21st century."