You are right, zigbot...NLMD is not the best DB album cover. Frankly, my vote would go for Thursday Child...the "new" Bowie look with the "old" Bowie look dying in his arms...or did I completely miss the meaning there? Heathen is pretty cool, too.
I really don't know about the NLMD cover though. I am thinking that the objects might each symbolize a song on the album? The skyscrappers backdrop in the background ("New York's In Love"), the ladder ("Never Let Me Down"), the canon ("Bang Bang"), the union jack flag drapped over the cannon (the UK reference in "'87 and Cry"), the rope net hanging in the background (symbolizing a spider's web for the "Glass Spider"), and so on. I can't really tell, and what would the other objects signify, i.e., the hoop of fire, the suitcase, the circus ring, the silver thing (whatever that is), the painting, the string lights, the pink cloud...
What disturbs me most though is Bowie on the front, and dead bird on the back!
And did anyone notice on the front--the guy peering behind the curtain (front cover only though)? Mistake or intentional?
Whatever it all means, I am sure there is something to it. Bowie is an artist and he must have had a messge he was trying to convey.