[Review] Lou Reed & Metallica ‘Lulu’

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When it was first announced that Metallica and Lou Reed would be working on an album together, the music world was stunned and intrigued. After all, two music legends collaborating should result in something amazing, right? Fast forward a few months and samples of songs started to become available. The general consensus seemed to lay right around, “What in the holy hell is this?” and the lyrics became an instant Internet meme. Now, Lulu has been made available for full stream and the verdicts are rolling in. Want mine? It’s garbage. Keep reading if you want to know why I think that.

The album kicks off with Brandenburg Gate, which sets the course over its 4:19 length, the shortest song on the album. Want to know what’s in store for you? The same riff, over and over and over and over and over and over… again. To make things worse, add on top of the mind-numbingly repetitive music Lou Reed’s inane, out of tune ramblings. The only redeeming thing about this song is that it is over soon, although it doesn’t necessarily feel that way.

I will say that the production of the album is very solid. With the plethora of instruments used and the dynamic ranges that the album goes through, it is mixed and arranged wonderfully. There were some moments where the instruments sounded very raw and trashy, but that was done more to build upon the emotion of the moment, creating the greatest effect. With solid guitars, thumping bass, beautiful textures, and surprisingly clever drumming from Lars Ulrich, this album will sound wonderful on a solid sound system.

The album stretches on for nearly 90 minutes, which requires it to be released on 2 discs. However, with some editing and tweaking, the album could easily have been condensed into a much more manageable 70 to 75 minutes. All that would need to happen is for Lou Reed to ramble a bit quicker, which then allows repetitive riffs to be shortened.

Look, this album isn’t all bad. Some of the riffs are awesome and I did find myself nodding along to the music several times. But then the novelty wore off and I was looking at my watch wondering when things would progress. The repetition makes every song feel much longer then their actual length.

The Final Word: It seems fairly obvious that Metallica and Lou Reed came together to create an album that surpassed music and instead became a work of art. The problem with that is that a lot of art is terrible and only a few gems withstand the test of time. Sorry boys, Lulu won’t hold up compared to the individual discographies that you have each issued.