Despite all of the harsh negativity circling the internet about the new Lou Reed & Metallica collaboration known as LULU, I wanted to listen to it for myself. You can listen to it now, just click here. I tend to like things that people hate and vice-verse. I listened to “The View” a couple of weeks ago when it was available for streaming and I listened to a couple of previews when they were available and honestly, I lost interest. Curiosity showed it’s ugly face this week though, I had to listen to this album. I am a huge fan of Metallica, they are the band responsible for guiding me towards the light (or darkness, this IS metal we’re talking about) and I’ve never listened to a thing Lou Reed has done. So I didn’t know what to expect upon listening and my expectations were set to an all time low, I kept in mind too to keep an open mind while listening to LULU as well. Regardless of what Lars has said, I was not expecting …And Justice For All material here.
Let’s focus on the positives, yes there are some positive parts to this album. The production is good, the album sounds great. The drum pitch could use a tweaking (I found the snare to be a little off) but the bass and guitars sounded very good. Also, there are some quality riffs on this album! I mean, I actually liked the entire song “Dragon“, the riffing and drone like tempo really made me like that song. I had to ignore the vocals but I DID find a song I liked.
Now, let’s continue on with the rest of the album. My fra-fra-frastrations with LULU, as you will. The music is usually boring and repetitive. It’s as if some young kids listened to the Load albums, St. Anger and Garage INC (Disc 1) and tried to mimic the sound, with their grandpa on the microphone. Lou’s vocal pattern seems tired and is so off timing sometimes it makes me sick to my stomach. The lyrical banter is nauseating and it’s recycled over and over. The songs could be 70% shorter if they didn’t seriously play the same riff and use the same verse repeatedly. Even with some of the good riffs that surprisingly pop up, Lou’s vocals ruin the moment. His mic was also entirely too loud, either turn down his mic or take a step back! I know Metallica likes using the same riff over and over to make a song, I mean most of their songs in their catalog are averaging out around 7 or 8 minutes. This album though, a riff will last 3 minutes AND NOT CHANGE ONE BIT. That is just baaaaaaaaad and boooorrrriiinnnggg.
I get what they are trying to do, take an old play and make something that is art, something that is dark and shocking. Hearing an old man start off an album with those choice lyrics is laughable and I cannot take it seriously. Even hearing him say the word “fuck” a few times made me chuckle. Lou cannot sing…he cannot carry a tune nor can he harmonize. The lyrics also are not meant for two older white men to be muttering. I was thinking to myself, “Hell, Courtney Love or Alanis Morrisette would have been better playing the part than Lou’s insane ramblings with James yelling behind him.”
Listen to LULU if you dare. It’s not metal…nor is it good rock and roll. It’s an old man and a fading metal band trying to perform something unnecessary and make an artsy album. This was a bad move for both Lou Reed and more so for Metallica. Does Metallica have the Honey Badger mentality or something? It seems like they TRULY do not give a shit. They’ll put their name and logo on anything they want, it will sell. So will LULU, this album will sell more copies than a really deserving band will, which is sad. Hate Eternal’s latest album is AMAZING but will barely profit from the album/touring. I hope Lou, James, Lars, Kirk and Rob do not die anytime soon because I would not want LULU to be their last effort.
Anytime I think of this album, I see this:
LULU has it’s moments…but those moments are not worth it.
Pros: Very few riffs are worth a damn.
Cons: The album is utterly disgusting and annoying.
0.5 out of 5
Fav track: Dragon…minus the vocals.