Quickie review: Lou Reed and Metallica, “Lulu”

The Halloween release date is appropriate: Here, the ‘Frisco boys are pretending to be a metal-ized Velvet Underground.  Having tried everything across this record to filter “Heroin” through their ’80s thrash, their ’90s blues-based hard rock and their 2000’s attempt at a return-to-form, they clearly want to be the ’60s legends so, so badly.  But guess what?  Getting Reed to sing on your record doesn’t make your band VU mk. II.

But that doesn’t stop Metallica from encircling him with 87 (!) minutes of impotent riffs (paired with the occasional acoustic dirge) and confused drumming in an attempt to make Reed more coherent.  Huh?  If their idea was to create music to fit dementia (or, perhaps, Reed’s impending Alzheimer’s), then they’ve succeeded.  As for his lyrics (which Lars called “ten great sets“), well…they’re stupid.  Like, obscenely stupid.  It opens with “I would cut my legs and tits off/ When I think of Boris Karloff and Kinski/ in the dark of the moon.”  It only goes downhill from there.  His words read like a man on the verge of schizophrenia ranting to beings only he can see.

So: This is the result of the difference between being experimental and trying to be experimental.  It’s an exercise in maximal minimalism.  That is to say, there’s little offered in the way of music or lyrics, but it’s played at full intensity, mixed for absolute impact and packaged as a two-headed behemoth hydra clusterfuck.  In short, it’s Lou Reed and Metallica making music together.

Score: 1.5/10

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  • Drew M.

    OK, I’m going to have to hear this. I only like the Lou Reed half of this horrid-sounding mess, but train wrecks can be fun!

  • Zooop

    This is the worst piece of crap I have ever heard.

  • Dicey

    I don’t know why the reviewer seems to think it is necessary to compare Lulu to different genre’s both artists have been through. Why are you intent on trying to pigeon-hole it??? To me, Lulu is something unique. I listen to practically every genre of music and I’m a HUGE Metallica fan, but never liked Lou Reed, so I was NOT looking forward to this at all. I still don’t like The View, but having heard the whole thing now a few times, I think Lulu is brilliant. I accept it won’t be for everyone but try leaving your preconceptions at the door (because believe me, they’re going to be wrong) and you might be pleasantly surprised at how much you enjoy Lulu. This is not an album to drive the car to. You need to sit down and ABSORB it. It is dark and disturbing and conversely there is some beautiful music here. I’d give it 9/10, it looses a mark because of The View.

  • Dicey

    I don’t know why the reviewer seems to think it is necessary to compare Lulu to different genre’s both artists have been through. Why are you intent on trying to pigeon-hole the album??? To me, Lulu is something unique. I listen to practically every genre of music and I’m a HUGE Metallica fan, but never liked Lou Reed, so I was NOT looking forward to this at all. I still don’t like The View, but having heard the whole thing now a few times, I think Lulu is brilliant. I accept it won’t be for everyone, but try leaving your preconceptions at the door (because believe me, they’re going to be wrong) and you might be pleasantly surprised at how much you enjoy Lulu. This is not an album to drive the car to. You need to sit down and ABSORB it. It is dark and disturbing and conversely there is some beautiful music here. I’d give it 9/10, it looses a mark because of The View.

  • garude

    LuLu, featuring the band formerly known as Metallica and Lou ‘white elephant’ Reed, is an incredible example trying to fit a square into a round – it just…does…not…work.

  • Ron McGooney

    “Brilliant”….LOL! It’s total rubbish, pretentious garbage masquerading as “art”. Flaccid arena-rock riffs repeated endlessly (and I do mean endlessly) topped with brutally awful, stupid vocals that sound like the rantings of a senile, tone-deaf mental patient. It’s a disaster, a piece of complete crap that only generates one emotion: laughter. The only way it makes any sense whatsoever is if it was conceived as an inside joke to see what kind of idiotic, half-baked “analysis” it could generate from the peanut gallery of fools who are too dumb to realize it’s a big put-on.

  • rocco

    I am a total worshipping fan of the VU, I’ve loved some of the Reed’s solo work, and I’ve never been interested in Metallica. In Lulu Lou is just pathetic: he can’t sing anymore, he should have retired long ago, and the lyrics shift from comically crappy to embarrassing. The music is a bore, a brainless stereotyped series of predictable riffs. Sometimes I can’t help laughing because I’ve never thought Reed could reach such a worthless failure with that incredible arrogance

  • jonnyboy

    Total rubbish…boring,tedious,lame,repetitive, i could go on.just lost for words.no spark or fire to this at all.i like a lot of music but this is horrendous.metallica go on about how they can do anything& not be pigeon-holed, but this is the pits.at least ‘load’ had some drive to it.anyway metallica should have quit years ago. 2studio albums in last 14years says it all really.they only living off their 1st 5albums.as for hetfield to crush JasonNewsted for wanting to make music & he goes &puts his name to this shit..fair play to you Newsted you were right to get out of a sinking ship & not let anyone humiliate you.metallica the corporate whore……….

  • Hailie Hay

    I was SEVERELY confused when I heard about this collaboration…I mean, I love the Velvet Underground, but really, Lou?
    I thought his collaboration with the Gorrillaz was crazy enough…

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