Emily Haines recently released her first solo album in ten years. The album, Knives Don't Have Your Back,
doesn't have a lot in common with Metric
's sound, which is buzzy, energetic, and very rock-and-roll. Haines' solo stuff is more contemplative, which is great for a whole different reason: we get an intimate sense of Haines' inner dialogue, which is sometimes thoughtful, sometimes melancholy, and sometimes pissed.
Haines wields an enormous baseball bat for the album cover, a good sign that you're about to listen to an album with some edge. And now here, for your reading pleasure, are nine more albums by female artists who graced the covers of their albums looking tough as nails.
1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
That's Karen O's hand! The Yeah Yeah Yeahs' third album gave us the songs "Zero" and "Heads Will Roll", songs to crack some heads (or eggs) to. While wearing red nail polish.
2. Santigold - Master of My Make Believe
Get this: all three people on the album cover are Santigold. She made a baller Making-Of video for this album cover (below), where you can see her transform from the gilded guards on the right and left, to the mafia don-looking guy in the middle. Badass cover, badass album.
3. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
I wouldn't mess with Neko Case ever, for any amount of money, but I especially mess with her when she's about to jump off the hood of a car and impale me with her cool sword. And I especially wouldn't mess with her knowing that she wrote "People Got A Lotta Nerve," in which she sings, "I'm a man-man-man, man-man-maneater / Still you're surprised when I eat ya."
4. Madonna - Hard Candy
Madonna may not be as young as she once was, but she can still pull off a sexy boxing champ belt as well as the rest of them. The idea here is that she's both tough and sweet (thus "Hard Candy") and with well over 30 years of performing intense dance routines under that champ belt, she could probably kick any challenger to the curb.
5. Rihanna - Rated R
Before we get started talking about this album cover, let's recognize: Rihanna's appreciation for and dedication to design and her apparent love of challenging her brand's design conventions is something to be admired. The girl does not shy away from new looks. So it's unsurprising that her design team's concept for this album alone was something that was planned months in advance, with a "dark dream" drawing inspiration from Grace Jones covers being a central concept.
6. Joan Jett - Up Your Alley
Joan Jett hates herself for loving you, but I don't hate myself for loving how cool she looks on this album cover. This may look like your typical tough, edgy musician on an album cover, inspired by legendary rock stars of the decades preceding this album, but keep in mind that not a lot of mainstream female musicians were choosing to project themselves as aggressively punk-inspired at this point.
7. P!nk - The Truth About Love
When I told a friend I was writing this list, she asked, "Does P!nk get a shoutout?" Why, yes. She does. She gets a shoutout for crouching in 6-inch high heels while scowling at the camera like it just catcalled her on the street. This was actually a hard one to pick out, because P!nk is basically always rocking the tough-but-cute look on her album covers.
8. Blondie - Parallel Lines
Maybe the reason Debbie Harry looks so pissed on this album cover is because she really didn't want this picture to her on her album cover. Apparently Blondie's manager decided this was the photo to use, against the band's wishes. Messing with Debbie Harry seems like a bold choice. This is the woman who once sang: "I will drive past your house and if the lights are all down / I'll see who's around / One way or another, I'm gonna find ya / I'm gonna get ya, get ya, get ya, get ya."
9. Lana Del Rey - Born to Die
Lana just looks like she's about to slap someone. I mean, she looks flawless, but she still looks like she's about to start a fight. If anyone is Born to Die, it's the person who crosses Lana Del Rey.