Metallica & Lou Reed - Lulu

Metallica & Lou Reed - Lulu

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(CD, Warner, 2011)

I am sure that many books could be written about METALLICA and some of them wouldn’t be that flattering. This band has been on the center of many conflicts / disputes in the Metal scene and many metalheads believe that METALLICA’s discography ended with the tragic death of Cliff. If one can think outside the box then he will realize that music is just subject to the listener’s personal taste. No argument is valid when it comes to personal taste and those who have forgotten or have not understood this are meaningless disputing over this band’s doings. And that brings us to METALLICA’s latest release that has been separating the metalheads since the announcement of the collaboration with Lou Reed.

My musical background on Mr. Reed’s works is minimal; I know him only by name and I am sure this album won’t be a reason to start dealing with his discography. You can call me shallow or musically uneducated but really, there is nothing I can or want to do to change this. So, what is the story with “Lulu” and why all this fuss about it? First of all because it is a METALLICA album and that’s by definition is a reason to argue; are there fueled by the market and money? Are the managers running the band? Have they lost their inspiration? The answer to all these is simple and straightforward; I don’t know and to tell you the truth I don’t care. I only care about the music; if it’s good then I will buy the album and I will go to the concerts. If it’s not then I can save my money for something else. It’s their band and they are calling the shots. I can decide to support them or not.

So, was “Lulu” good enough to deserve my money? Having listened to the album many times my answer to this is ‘no’. I failed miserably to understand the aesthetics of this collaboration and in fact I cannot stand the ‘vocals’ by Reed. This narration singing style messes up the music that gives the impression of a soundtrack. The mix has brought the vocals way in the front making the listener to notice them and not the music. And that’s a shame since there is good stuff there; the rhythm is “The View” and the guitar leads sound great and I keep my fingers crossed that I will find the same quality in the proper and future METALLICA album. James vocals are kept minimal in “Lulu” underlining the statement that this is not a METALLICA album! I cannot comment on the lyrical content of the album simply because I did not understand it.

The listening of “Lulu” is a difficult process and there is no track inside that will make it in a metalhead’s playlist and this is why this album should be consider as a one-time project. But, there are some interesting ideas inside like those in “Cheat On Me”; leaving aside the tiring time duration and the ridiculously number of times “cheat on me” is said I totally enjoyed the keyboard sounds, James’ high pitched vocals and the guitar work that once again stands in the background. “Junior Dad” has also some pretty good ideas scattered in the almost 20 minutes duration while the violin-like melodies made my think of a Angelo Bandalamenti movie soundtrack just before it made me feel bored. And this is how it feels the entire album; there are some interest excerpts but those are not enough to make me ‘forget’ about Reed’s annoying vocals and the sometimes hard-to-understand long time durations.

No, I cannot/won’t dig deeper in this album to find something to like. I failed to get into the atmosphere of the album and I will patiently wait for METALLICA’s album that can be awesome if the good ideas inside “Lulu” are filtered and enhanced. As I always say, there is no unbiased opinion when it comes to music; it’s all about taste and “Lulu” has nothing to do with my personal one so I will simply move on and won’t waste my internet time arguing with people on this.





CD 1
01. Brandenburg Gate
02. The View
03. Pumping Blood
04. Mistress Dread
05. Iced Honey
06. Cheat On Me

CD 2
01. Frustration
02. Little Dog
03. Dragon
04. Junior Dad


Lars Ulrich - Drums
James Hetfield - Guitars, Vocals
Kirk Hammett - Guitars
Robert Trujillo - Bass
Lou Reed - Vocals