While it can be said that heavy metal music is no stranger to experimentation, having flirted with genre crossing since its vague inception in the late 1960s, not all collaborations therein have proven significant or even reputable. Enter Lulu, the ill-conceived 80+ minute progeny of rock legend Lou Reed and metal giants Metallica. On paper, the idea is bold; two musically in-congruent icons compounding their creativity to produce something radical. In execution, however, the idea has proven a dud. While this may well be another notch on Lou Reed’s curiously weathered belt of off-kilter musical endeavors, for Metallica, Lulu is just another coffin nail.
In reference to their artistic freedom, both Lou Reed and Metallica would agree that their collaboration succeeded, to which the unbiased listener could attest. Truth be told, however, that what can be done is not necessarily what should be done and the severity of their mistake is apparent in the first ninety seconds of Brandenburg Gate. Reed abandons cadence as he mumbles, moans, ‘croons’ and emphatically blurts out obtuse poetry in an attempt to compete with the sloppy and droning backdrop of instruments that barely sound cohesive themselves. The interpolation of poetry into heavy metal music is certainly not unfounded, but it has rarely been done in this fashion, if at all.
Whether the grossly dissonant result was intentional or not, this sharp contrast between Metallica’s lackluster contribution and Reed’s emotionless delivery makes for a near-intolerable listen. The nine tracks that follow trudge along like a rusty roller coaster, hitting the heaviest strides with Mistress Dread and Dragon, actually becoming, dare I say, aligned with Iced Honey and slowly drifting out and away into the excessively long “Junior Dad”. At its most chaotic, the music sounds like refuse from Metallica’s previous outing Death Magnetic (e.g. Pumping Blood and the aforementioned Mistress Dread) while the lighter bits sound like riffs that have been kicked around since their Load and Reload days. Furthering that misfortune is the progression of the songs themselves; the slow, monotonous and ultimately direction-less instrumentation recalls the regressive and misguided state of mind surrounding St. Anger.
While the production quality on Lulu surprisingly surpasses that of Death Magnetic, which is easier to say than it is to believe that Rick Rubin was behind the boards for the latter, it is one of the few redeeming qualities of the album. In the end, the collaboration between Metallica and Lou Reed should not have extended beyond a single song and yet, they managed to create a double-disc farcical record that unfortunately offers nothing but greater munitions to a rabid public already polluting the air with bated breath. One can assume that Lou Reed fans will be neither surprised nor inspired by this album while Metallica fans, though invective of this endeavor, will continue to see them in concert; however, it can not be said that such an experiment will be proven worth the malady.
Review Copy Info: A copy of this album was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purposes of this review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Daniel MacDonald on 20130910 and was last modified on 20130910 .