Lou Reed and Metallica
Lulu


1.0
awful

Review

by Matthew D. French USER (50 Reviews)
October 20th, 2011 | 145 replies | 9,946 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: a match made in hell.

20 of 21 thought this review was well written

The thought of Metallica collaborating with Lou Reed might provoke a warm-hearted laugh, for some. Both exist in entirely different realms of music, have long since exhausted their sound, and have both come to a creative slump. Prolific rock star Lou Reed’s output after the breakup of The Velvet Underground has been, for the most part, surprisingly enjoyable in its own right. As a lyricist, Reed writes of personal experiences in deviant sexuality, drugs, alcohol, etc., all the conventional adornment that makes rock music what it is, but he managed to blend noise, folk, and experimental art rock nicely enough to escape his rudimentary lyrical themes. However, with his albums from the former half of the last decade being full of rehashed ideas and derivative restatements of past hits, his hiatus came at a fitting time. Metal juggernauts Metallica, on the other hand, are firmly rooted in thrash-metal and hard rock. In 1986 they sought out to create an album free of thrash and ironically conceived one of the most influential and well-liked thrash-metal albums of all time: Master of Puppets. Later, Metallica went on to defile their legacy with the vomit-inducing St. Anger and most recently recovered slightly with their proceeding effort Death Magnetic. At a recent 25th anniversary rock show in 2009, these ‘visionaries’ had such a good time playing with each other that they knew they were, to quote Reed, “made for each other” and thus, chose to birth an album that should have been aborted long before its release.

If the cover of Lulu is anything to go by, it’s a sad reflection of the disjointed sounds from these two legends as they fail to orchestrate their styles and hearken back to the glory days. As a matter of fact, the peevish look about this porcelain face of a severed body echoes the portrayal of two once great artists now defeated and without a leg to stand on. From opener “Brandenburg Gate” it’s blatantly obvious that these two cannot function together. The soothing calm of Reed’s folk music doesn’t blend with Metallica’s heavier elements at all. Reed’s absence from the creative process and age are immediately felt as he rambles an old man’s country chant of “Small town girl!” Coupled with Metallica’s intrusive riffs, this raspy vocal performance in the vain of Johnny Cash is embarrassing and forced as all hell. At first it almost feels like a parody of all of the stereotypes surrounding bad rock-folk fusion bands out there, except it takes itself seriously.

The worst part is that “Brandenburg Gate” is essentially the abatement of nuisances that plague the rest of the album. Most of the songs here have their titles repeated to the point where listening to them feels like an endurance test. “Cheat On Me” spends 11 minutes asking the question: “Why do I cheat on me?”, while “Pumping Blood” similarly repeats “I’m pumping blood”. It’s no surprise that the latter was recorded in one live take, as Reed seems like he’s just making it up as he goes: “If I’m pumping blood / like a common state worker / if I waggle my ass / like a dark prostitute / would you think less of me / and my coagulating heart?” After 5 excruciatingly painful minutes of that, Reed incessantly yells: “Jack, Jack, Jack I beseech you! I call out your name”. It’s the musical equivalent of a drunken rambling, slurred and frantic in presentation and completely nonsensical, not to mention flat-out pathetic.

With all of that said, Lulu is without a single shred of doubt the least enjoyable album of 2011. The lyrics are atrociously juvenile, humiliating, and occasionally hysterical, especially when Hetfield randomly bellows lines like “I am the table!” The music accompanying Reed’s impoverished vocals is bland in every way imaginable. Metallica are admired for their proficient technicality and interesting solos, but on Lulu they sound uninspired and bored. Lulu strips the heaviness of Metallica and Lou Reed of his folksy art-rock designation. Every song takes the aspects that make both artists great and waters them down to help accommodate one another, but the shoddily executed concept falls flat on its face. At its best, and most perverse, the longest track, “Junior Dad”, is the least offensive thing here and a damn sight better than everything else, but still far from enjoyable. At its worst, Lulu is ten times more horrid than St. Anger and is an unimaginative, pitiful record that deserves to be sold at convenience stores and freeway truck stops.



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user ratings (925)
Chart.
1.4
very poor
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Gyromania
October 20th 2011



15200 Comments


Worst damn thing ever. Streaming here: http://www.loureedmetallica.com/listen-to-lulu.php (listen at your own risk).

Ignimbrite
October 20th 2011



5295 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

...and the earth swarmed with them

psykonaut
October 20th 2011



3913 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

well done sir

Tyrael
October 20th 2011



20740 Comments


Amazing review Gyro :]

Album sucks balls

Pharoh
October 20th 2011



3326 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

This is so bad.. This this is worse than morbid angel's illud divinum insanus... And that's saying something...

Lambda
October 20th 2011



2412 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

especially when Reed randomly bellows lines like “I am the table!”

That's actually Hetfield

Digging: Anathema - Judgement

Ire
October 20th 2011



41749 Comments


lol 1s

it's just mediocre

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2011



16134 Comments


Only listened to one track, but I'd say "mediocre" is awfully generous.

Gyromania
October 20th 2011



15200 Comments


That's actually Hetfield

I knew that too, I just got into the habit of typing 'Reed', lol. Thanks for pointing it out. I have to make a few edits but the site is moving slowly right now.

Lambda
October 20th 2011



2412 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Good review though :D

Can't say the same for this album.....

Tyrael
October 20th 2011



20740 Comments


He actually says 'I am the tablet' btw

Drsmith4
October 20th 2011



1712 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Chuckles & Mr. Squeezy is worse than this.

Valerius
October 20th 2011



1137 Comments


Hm. I listened to The View just to get an idea of this. I think some of you are being overly harsh on this. This isn't a Metallica album, so please stop with the "St. Anger is ten times better than this". This is a Lou Reed album with Metallica. I don't know much about Lou Reed so I really can't judge how this holds up to his other work. I'd prefer to read a review of this from a Lou Reed fan comparing this to his other work, and not a Metallica fan trying to destroy this for not being Master of Puppets.

To me this album sucks so far, but this isn't my type of music so I can't judge it accurately. It seems to have some decent riffs in it but the vocal delivery by Lou I just don't care for. Some of the lyrics seem ok, but if they have made a whole concept album out of this then I would think it would get old pretty fast unless you really enjoy these plays by Frank Wedekind.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2011



18055 Comments


ugh

Digging: Huerco S - Colonial Patterns

Gyromania
October 20th 2011



15200 Comments


Um, I know a lot more about Lou Reed than I do Metallica and I mentioned him a lot more in this review than I did Metallica. The comment about this being a lot worse than St. Anger is important to help give context to how truly bad this is. It's more about the context than it is the sound and people are very familiar with that album.

The riffs in this album are boring and repetitive as hell, and I don't even need to know that Metallica is behind them to think they're bad, but they definitely stick out like a sore thumb because of that.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 20th 2011



49801 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Drums suck

Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

Scoot
October 20th 2011



17681 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

nice work

Digging: Unjust - Glow

Valerius
October 20th 2011



1137 Comments


You know a lot about Lou Reed, but you don't have any of his albums ranked among your 881 ratings?

fuckthatnoise
October 20th 2011



1479 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Chuckles & Mr. Squeezy is worse than this.


i STILL don't get the overwhelming rampant hate for that thing. it was a harmless pop album, nothing more.

this, meanwhile...

zxlkho
October 20th 2011



3460 Comments


Someone neg'd so here have a pos.



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