19 October, 2011

Lou Reed and Metallica: Lulu - A Review


Just got my hands on this 2CD set... and here is my initial song-by-song reaction. Expect a more detailed breakdown in a podcast at some point.

1. Brandenburg Gate - Lou Reed sounds like he is trying to old-man shout over Metallica. He and Hetfield keep telling me that they are small town girls. This is like when my mom tells me metal is just noise... because that is what this is to me. Holy fuck this is awful... and it just goes on and on and on and on... one fuckin note bullshit. The opening is the only good thing.

2. The View - Compared to the first track, this fucker is fuckin' genius. I apologize for everything I ever said about it. Brandenburg Gate has shown me the error of my ways. The View has won me over. I am starting to worry that this is the best track.

3. Pumping Blood - Thumpthumpthump and Lou Reed old-man barking "PUMPING BLOOD" with the beat. Suddenly the noise ends and Lou Reed talks over a clean guitar. This isn't horrible, something that surprises me. But Lars loves hitting that crash for no reason. Suddenly, as it is getting good, Lou yells at James to "come on" which takes me out of the narrative. Though, Lars' random drumming probably has something to do with that too. There are actually some kind of cool things going on musically here. The thing is, Lou Reed's monotone yammering isn't adding any weight to it... he just brings the shit down, making Metallica's sometimes cool riffs sound less constructed and more jammy, like these guys are writing it on the spot. The track ends with some Metallica jamming that will make people wish it was the opening of their next real song.

4. Mistress Dread - HOLY FUCK METALLICA IS PLAYING SUPER FUCKIN FAST AND THIS IS AWEohshit here comes fuckin' Lou Reed ruining it all. It is a pretty cool riff, sounding a bit like a riff from Disposable Heroes. I guess this is a good sign that the guys are still somewhere within that head space (finish writing your next album before you lose it!). The riff changes a tad but not much, sounding like Battery during those brief moments. Lou Reed sounds so fuckin' out of place it is painful listening to him. Around the 5 minute mark it slows down briefly before galloping off again. For this brief period Lou's rambling almost fits. Metallica ends the track 5 times or some shit for no reason whatsoever. Perhaps they are practicing for the next album.

5. Iced Honey - This sounds like a pure Lou Reed construct. As such, it is probably the first track on the album that kind of works as a song. Lou Reed's voice is still killing me but at least it doesn't sound totally out of place here. If you have seen Metallica and Lou Reed playing together at the Hall of Fame concert, then this should remind you of that.

6. Cheat On Me - It sounds kind of pretty... and then some old dude starts talking. But this kind of works. However, Reed's insistence on repeating lyrics, followed by James aping the same in a horrific pitchy whine... nearly brings the track down. This could likely have fit right on Reloadier, Metallica's third in the Load albums. I do kind of appreciate the quality in this one. But why did it need to go on for ELEVEN FUCKIN MINUTES?!

7. Frustration - Noise... noise... noise... Black Sabbath jumps in. The riffs in this aren't complex but there is a heavy coolness about them that reminds me that I wouldn't mind if the next Metallica album was some heavy Sad But True type shit with a more Sabbathy edge. Anyway, Lou Reed is probably the most annoying on this track during lulls in the music. I want to stab out my ears! Thankfully, Metallica saves this one with their heaviness. I fuckin' hate Lou Reed's voice, did I mention that? "I wish that I could kill you!" he says, and I shout it back at him! Then Metallica kicks in with a faster version of the riff with some differences and it is pretty fuckin' cool and I have never wished for the "Delete Lou" option more.

8. Little Dog - Clean open with Lou Reed's old-man breathing. Seriously, you hear him breathing right into the mic and I don't know if he means to do it for effect or if he is just so fuckin' old and unaware that he doesn't know he is BREATHING INTO THE FUCKIN MIC IN A CREEPY GROSS OLD FUCK KIND OF WAY! Funnily enough, as delivered, I could totally see this track working in a movie, TV show, or even as a music video. There is a true quality of concept here. But for 8 minutes? Come on. Still, so far The View and Little Dog are the only tracks I feel work from concept to execution into narrative.

9. Dragon - For nearly the first 3 minutes, Lou Reed is back to his annoying ways and then Metallica kicks in and it makes you sad again that this riff, or at least the idea of it, was wasted on this album. If you put the three really good riffs that have been heard so far into a new Metallica song, it would be pretty badass. In any event, outside of the first 3 minutes of this ELEVEN MINUTE track, this one isn't terrible and the riff is worth hearing. Lou Reed's rambling almost fits. This would probably have made a better single if not for the holy-shit-too-long running time.

10. Junior Dad - The track that made James and Kirk cry. It is OK, I guess. I am sleepy now. It feels like the most thought out of the songs, with respect to achieving some kind of artsy, avant garde quality. Perhaps had Lou Reed and Metallica spent more time working these songs out, the album would work better from both concept and execution.

If I had to rate this, based on my initial listen, the album gets:


65 out of 100

Not as shitty as I expected but nowhere near as good as Metallica and Lou Reed apologists, in their respective delusional camps, will proclaim it to be.

Now, CLICK to check out the Top 5 Metal Albums Per Decade Poopcast!


51 comments:

  1. You pretty much ripped every track apart and then rated the album 65/100? I expected no more than 55/100 based on your comments in the review.

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  2. It is more fun to rip it apart. :)

    However, the few good moments of it, especially on Junior Dad, elevated the score. Otherwise, it was probably going to be around a 55.

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  3. haha thanks for the hilarious review. now i'm gonna give it a shot and see if i can still laugh afterwards. thumbs up, mate!

    heretic

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  4. You kill me, duder. Funny as hell while fair.

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  5. I listened to it this afternoon. My mate asked me if it was good and I said "Well it depends what your definition of "good" is. If by good you mean sprawling ten minute one riff jams with no real structure and Lou Reed on acid talking over the top of them - it's fucking phenomenal"

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  6. Killer review man. Killer. Write more reviews.

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  7. I thought you were going to eviscerate Lulu based on your comments about it on Metbb. I'm kinda shocked you liked parts. You're definitely what you say you are, brutal but fair. Good on ya.

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  8. Just gave the full album a listen..... This is probably the first album Ive ever heard that constantly jumps back and forth from sounding like nails on a chalk board to sounding absolutely badass.
    Listening to this album is like being being raped in prison while recieving a great reach around...

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  9. I say and will still shout out loud that this album was made for Nick Cave

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  10. Hetfield sounded awful in this album but Lou Reed is the ultimate cock block on this album. I just kept hoping that he'd keel over in a fit of chest pain so he'd shut the hell up already!

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  11. I listened to this album last night and I have to tell you, and it completely creeps me out, that your review is EXACTLY how I felt during my first time listen. Well done! Excellent review. If anyone asks me what I think about this album I'm going to forward your link. NOW go and review STEEL PANTHER'S - BALLS OUT. Curious to read what you think of it.

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  12. Oof...this does sound like a difficult album to get into. A double cd set by two brilliant but very divergent acts that will likely make noone happy. What the hell inspired this???

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  13. Reed and Metallica performed together at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert in NYC and it kind of got Lou thinking. They were going to do something else but Reed eventually approached them about doing this.

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  14. Ha! The review is hilarious and a fairly accurate assessment of how I feel as well. Nice job! There truly are some excellent musical moments . . . even some cool lyrical moments, but the old man/transient/bum approach of yelling and blabbering over the Metallica jams is super difficult to get into.

    If this were performed in the context of a theater play (with LouTallica as the pit orchestra) and the play properly conveyed the gnarly vibe of the music and lyrical narrative, I could see it working quite well.

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  15. Which is why I said that at least one of the tracks (and likely more) would work well in a more theatrical setting, be it a music video or something else.

    But as a pure listening experience, to me it is like buying an album of Rocky Horror tunes. Without the musical/movie, those songs aren't remotely as interesting.

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  16. lol! great fuckin review! almost word for word how I felt listening to it.

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  17. I wonder what is worst, the trash can sound in St Anger or Lou´s Reed "singing" in this album?

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  18. I don't think there is anything worse than the song St. Anger. But I think Lou Reed's blabbing on Lulu is far worse than the rest of St. Anger (the album).

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  19. This album tells the story about someones life. It's like a biography of this lulu ... a soundtrack to someone's life. That being said, I love the album... I might be one of the only few, but i find this album great... well just a bit less mumbling next time... however the music is great... P.S. It's one creepy album if you read the lyrics... Have a nice day !!!

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  20. Your taste in music and your definition of "great" suck. Go fuck yourself.

    Respectfully,

    Me.

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  21. Spermless like a girl.

    Comedy album of the year.

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  22. I am writing the next great song... Vaginaless, Like a Boy.

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  23. I think William Shatner should do the next one with them, it will be even better than this masterpiece.

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  24. I still can't belie how horrible this record is. Oh sure, it has a few moments that are ok, but those moments are few and far between.

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  25. The only redeeming thing about this album is that there isn't a third disc.

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  26. What would have been cool was if Rob Halford and Metallica made an album together.

    I firmly believe that Metallica did this solely to make their last several albums listenable. Now people can't say St. Anger is their worst. This pretentious turd (DuDu)should go down easily in the anals of history as the biggest piece of shit this side of a toilet.

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  27. "The only redeeming thing about this album is that there isn't a third disc."

    This should be on the back cover of the album.

    "This pretentious turd (DuDu)should go down easily in the anals of history as the biggest piece of shit this side of a toilet."

    Huhhuh... he said "anals".

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  28. Pretty crap but better than rap....
    4/10 for me

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  29. I just listened to it all the way through... and I loved it.

    I'm not joking. I think it's a masterpiece. One of the best things that either has ever done.

    It's definitely more of a Lou Reed album, though, and most Metallica fans, I gather, just don't know much about him. Probably my reaction has a lot to do with the fact that I'm been a fan of both for about the same length of time (25 years or so). I'm used to Lou Reed's style, and so I didn't find it nearly as shocking as most Metallica fans seem to.

    To get philosophical for a moment: I think Metallica's fanbase is going to fracture over this album. The vast majority are going to hate it with every fiber of their being. And then there'll be a tiny minority of people like me who think it's utterly brilliant.

    I realize that I'm going to be actively hated by my fellow Metallica fans over this. But, frankly, I don't care. Rock'n'roll has always been about liking what you like no matter what anybody thinks.

    And I like this. End of story.

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  30. Your definition of masterpiece is a jammed album that was barely thought out and recorded quickly and live?

    You can't possibly be a Metallica or Lou Reed fan if you think that's a masterpiece. Both have done work that would rape the tits off this thing, five times over.

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  31. Oh, I'm not saying it's as good as Master of Puppets or The Velvet Underground And Nico. But it's not far behind either.

    Yes, I repeat, I think it's a masterpiece. I think it was a very risky experiment, particularly for Metallica, because they were giving up their usual tight control in favor of somebody else's vision. But, overall, I think it works beautifully. The music is a stretch for them, a significant departure from their usual style(s), but I think it perfectly complements Reed.

    And, like I said, I think that's the core of what most Metallica fans are objecting to: this is not a Metallica album, and it's not really a Lou Reed album either. It's something different and unique. Reed has given them the opportunity to grow and change musically in directions that they never have before, while they've brought to the surface the power and fury that's always been lurking underneath his best work.

    I'd be interested in knowing what Reed's established fans think of this, but I doubt that he's getting nearly as much flak as Metallica. Too many of their fans just want another Master of Puppets, and complain whenever they do something else. This is the biggest left turn in a career full of them, so of course a lot of fans are going to bitch.

    But that's not fair to anyone, especially not Metallica. I've always admired their willingness to grow and change and experiment, even if I haven't always cared for the results. I was tremendously intrigued when I heard about Lulu, and I love the results. Like I said, I know that I'm in a distinct minority. As far as I'm concerned, that's your loss.

    Can we at least agree that it's better than St. Anger, though? Or Metal Machine Music?

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  32. You can like whatever you want, but Lulu is at best a below average attempt by both. It has its moments, sure. Like Junior Dad. In fact, Junior Dad shows you what this album COULD have been. It could have been a masterpiece. But instead it is Junior Dad, parts of Dragon and Cheat On Me, and the nearly polished sound of The View. Everything else is a missed opportunity, or crap.

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  33. And no, it is NOT better than St. Anger since Lulu has longer songs, more repetitive riffs, far more stock drumming, and less interesting vocal melodies.

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  34. After playing the album right through 4 times, I have to say that disk 1 is growing on me a bit. Struggling a bit with disk 2 mind you.

    As a fan of both Loupy Lou and Metallica I can fully understand why people dont like it but its definitely growing on me a little bit.

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  35. Disc 2 is superior to disc 1 unless you like stock riffs, old-man rambling, and sloppy drum beats.

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  36. Just listened to it a second time, more carefully. My opinion has not changed; in fact I'm even more impressed.

    I realized something else that might help explain the negative reaction. With Metallica, the lyrics are often an afterthought; they've admitted many times that they mostly focus on music and leave James to come up with all the words. You don't have to pay too close attention to their lyrics, and in fact (let's be honest), James isn't the greatest songwriter and a lot of his words don't bear close examination.

    Lou Reed, on the other hand, comes from a more poetry- and art-based tradition where the music is there to support the lyrics. Lulu fits squarely into that style; it works best if you pay close attention to the words. Most Metallica fans aren't used to this, I think, and so they're listening for the heavy riffs and resenting the presence of this weird old guy singing over them.

    Anyway, just a thought. However it works, I still think it's terrific, and I refuse to apologize for that.

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  37. James isn't a strong songwriter? What the fuck is your glitch? Let's be honest, your taste sucks ass.

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  38. "Disc 2 is superior to disc 1 unless you like stock riffs, old-man rambling, and sloppy drum beats. "

    Go and take yer face for a shit you self righteous piece of shit/daft cunt.

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  39. Do you suck off your dad with that mouth, you vaginaless like a boy (yeah, Lou Reed said the opposite on the album, omg, GENIUS!!!) twit monkey?

    Go ramble off your shitty taste in music to an old man and jam some half-assed riffs into a tin can and sell it as an album, skippy.

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  40. Hee hee.
    I'd suck your dad off but the taste of orangutangs dont appeal to me you gormless spacka.

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  41. The gormless spacka was awesome but you thought the "orangutangs" shit was witty? No wonder you love CD1.

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  42. I never said I loved CD1. I said it was growing on me.
    It's seems you have lost the ability to read properly.
    Never mind dear!

    Toodlepip!

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  43. Yes, because one anonymous poster is clearly the same as the next. Next time, sign your comments if you want me to tie one comment to the next. I was simply responding to you overreacting like a 5-year old to what I said about CD2 being superior. And in any event, if CD1 wasn't your dearest love, why would you overreact to what I said? CD2 is clearly the superior CD. It has the best music on it, the best writing, and the best execution.

    Only a fuckin' moron like you wouldn't see that.

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  44. Tee hee you really cant help yourself from abusing people who don't share your opinion can you.
    It takes a moron to know a moron sweety pie.

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  45. I can't help but abuse people who have no taste. I don't require people to hold my opinion, but I do require that they don't pretend to like things just to be "supportive" of the artist they love.

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  46. What is this?!?! What the heck are Metallica doing??? Are they seriously trying to loose the last dignity they have left or is it just me getting too old for this sh*t??? Never in my life have I heard anything sounding so much like a bad bad bad demo like this piece of cr*p! What the f*ck is this all about? How can any band cr*p so much on themself in a so painful way? My God can someone please stop this insanity!

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  47. Someone was really drunk when recording this album!

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  48. After listening to this somewhat announced as an album once I must conclude that the world would be a much better place without Metallica and indeed Lou Reed! R.I.P.
    Kirk Hammett I advice you to get out of this band a.s.a.p. for your own sake. Your talent is sadly but truely wasted with these guys! Metallica is no more and Lou Reed you has hopefully gagged his last verse on any commercial production! I cry silently.

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  49. No need to censor yourself on this site. We say crap and fuck all the time.

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