Lulu review by Lou Reed & Metallica

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  • Released: Oct 31, 2011
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 2.6 (526 votes)
Lou Reed & Metallica: Lulu
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Sound — 7
So "Lulu", possibly the most controversial album of the century there has been a lot of hate directed at this latest Lou Reed release. Yes, Lou Reed release. I have decided to side with the band and say that this is a Lou Reed album and in the context of Lou's work "Lulu" is experimental but definitely in line with what he has done in the past. The guitars feature grinding circular riffs that repeat very frequently and rarely solo, the bass is solid calmly following the guitar riffs. As for the drums Lars does not impress but instead plays with a low intensity nicely slotting into that Lou Reed feel. The vocals are typical of both Reed and Hammet and the lyrics are evidence that Lou is still crazy (which is good). In short from the Lou Reed perspective this is actually a pretty decent album and makes sense with the rest of his discography. The guitar sound on this record is surprisingly close to how I would imagine a heavy metal Lou Reed. Sure at times it speeds up a bit more than expected but overall the riffs are simple and grungy. There are a few small acoustic bits but the majority of the album features distortion yet somehow at the same time this album is not brutal just different. I feel that all of the songs fit 100% in to the Lou Reed style, if this was any other artist the riffs might feel generic but with Lou it is exactly what I expected. And some of the riffs are just magic, the beginning of the heavy party of "Brandenburg Gate" is mindblowing. All in all Hammet and Hetfield do a fairly good job of backing up Lou and Hetfield's singing on this record and accurately reflect what a metal version of Lou should sound like. The bass on this record is also very Lou-esque, it is fairly minimalist performance by Trujillo following the guitar riffs and generally making the guitar sound a lot heavier. I hope on the new recently announced new Metallica record Trujillo gets more of a chance to shine because I know that his bass playing can be a lot stronger than this. Yet he still does a good job of capturing the Lou Reed atmosphere. And he does get a really awesome part in "Junior Dad". The drumming of Lars Ulrich pretty much reflects the guitar riffs, it is pretty simplistic and while there are some decent fills here and there the majority of the time Lars plays nice and easy simple drum riffs. While this is maybe not the greatest Lars performance it definitely fits in with the Lou Reed aura and makes sense within his discography.

Lyrics — 8
The vocals on this track are decent from both of the singers on "Lulu". Reed keeps up his regular style featuring the talk-singing which makes him unique. Admittedly on some of these more recent records of his and especially on this one the talk-singing becomes a bit more like talking than singing. Also Lou is starting to sound a bit old in some of his parts his voice becomes that of the old man that he is. As for James Hetfield his vocals are fairly good and he definitely has a lot of conviction in his vocal lines. I am especially fond of his passionate yell of "Small Town Girl" in "Brandenburg Gate". From a vocal perspective this album is pretty decent. The vocals are... Very Lou. They have all of the psychedelic insanity that makes Reed so great at the same time featuring some great messages underneath the morass of weirdness.

Overall Impression — 8
In conclusion, this is actually a decent album, from a Lou Reed standpoint. It features some pretty decent songs and finishes with a beautifully crafted epic in "Junior Dad". As a backing band Metallica does very well and they accurately reflect all that is Lou from a more metal perspective. The guitars feature very Lou-esque riffs and unsurprisingly have few solos. The bass is pretty straightforward but there are some pretty nice fills throughout. The drums are gentle and don't seek to blast you away, instead drawing you in to the low powered riffs. The vocals are typical of both vocalists however Lou is definitely starting to age. As for the lyrics, they are completely insane, yet I like them because they are very Lou. I really don't know what to make of this album, but something inside me says it is pretty good.

180 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Cold Reader
    it sounds like a garage band just getting started that found an elderly homeless man with dementia to be their frontman.
    Awesome.
    Undead Rat
    As we've already discussed this album enough over the past weeks, I don't feel like making another statement on its quality. I'm just going to wait for the new Metallica studio album.
    Ranmanguitar
    When I first heard of this I didn't judge the two artists working together. I think this is something more artists need to start doing. I went into this with an open mind... That being said... I gave this the best try I could. It's plain horrible and borderline mentally scarring. Thanks but no thanks...
    pnkr0cker
    Nobody is saying it sounds like shit because it doesnt sound like Metallica. Its bad because: 1. It is some of the worst mixing ive ever heard 2. The repetitive riffs are lame. 3. Repetitive riffs are ****ing LAME 4. These arent vocals. Sounds to me like the writer of this review was trying to not jump on the haters bandwagon, but there is a difference between uneducated hate, and brown smelly dog shit. Okayc so if you buy this album with practically no exptectation, what story will this tell? The question wasn't even answered or expanded on. Just a story, and some art.
    valnir230
    As I listen to this I smile to myself, because it is everything I hoped it would be. I am going to annoy so many people with this album.
    jacobdubya
    Next up in the "artsy 60s/70s rocker meets 80s thrash metal band" series: David Bowie collaborates with Slayer.
    bulusvanua
    "The album opens with the line, "I would cut my legs and tits off when I think of Boris Karloff". That pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the record. The lyrics are dark and haunting to an extreme level" Thats not haunting at all, that sounds like an idiot 12 year old trying to be an intellectual.
    Spiderweb
    I swallow your sharpest cutter / like a colored mans dick / blood spurting from me
    For everything is a first time, so for Metallica playing horrible riffs and singing about sucking a black guys dick too...
    LB swe
    Well, I think this album is the most scary part about halloween this year :-P
    orince
    i wonder what went through they're heads when they created this...
    judo_john
    Just, stop going on about the album. Yeah, it sucks. I gave it a full listen, so I had my own fair opinion on it. now we should all just let it die and never have 2 read another Lulu story on here again. Lets just not feed the hate anymore eh?
    zomgguitarz1234
    You know what people need to realize is a lot of people don't hate this album because it's not the next master of puppets, they mostly hate it because it sounds like shit. Plane and simple. I don't give a shit if it's not a thrash album, it was still terrible by any music standard and I was typing this while listening to the Metallica cover of turn the page!
    link no1
    Shavyi wrote: Why doing a review if you first say that you prefer Megadeth to Metallica ?
    Why would it matter if the album isn't a Metallica album anyway?
    Cheeseman Jay
    I'd love James to just come out now and say "Hey, we trolled you guys good, right?" Alas, I fear he shall not.
    CoolMcAwesome
    I listened to the album, and as I suspected, it was a difficult task. I heard the early releases, and didnt like them. However, I still wanted to hear the whole thing before passing final judgement (positive or negative). Overall, it was one of the most boring things I have listened to. I know it isn't a Metallica album (I'm not a retard who cant tell the difference between a side project and a bands main projects). This is a side project, and a failure. The guy (paul stanely) who reviewed it and gave it a 9 is obviously deaf, dumb, and stupid. One should be able to listen to a 9-quality album daily without getting bored of the material for years. This is barely tolerable even once. Sure he can have his opinion, but a 9?? a FUCKING 9 ?!!? Now that is finally released, we can stop talking about it, and just pretend it never happened. Just like the first Hulk movie.
    LordNightsorrow
    Superperfex wrote: Less Metallica hate, more Lou Reed disappointment please.
    Yes. I think this album wouldn't be bad if Lou Reed didn't have a presence.
    THE76GOAT
    cfhdomination wrote: jas6nq wrote: who's the shit head who gave it a 9? Kirk Hammett
    It wasn't me ..... I gave it a 10
    Teh Skisgaars
    gah, it's a creative endeavor not intended for you people, it's purely a creative outlet for lou reed and metallica. it's art, and whether you like it or not doesn't matter. btw the album is terrible but that's my opinion
    WaddleDeee
    TJM2482 wrote: Lol @ the people who expected Ride the Lightning. The album is based on two plays, so I find it funny that people who are unfamiliar with the source material are surprised that they "don't get it" (though the complaints about it it SOUNDS are a different story).
    So the main character in one of the plays is a Table? Sounds like some good shit.
    Root Beer
    I was puzzling over why it has a 6.2 rating, and I concluded that it's because the only people who can actually listen to this album straight through are already so mentally scarred that as long as every song is about sex and violence they don't care what the music sounds like.
    Its the Kyle
    Proper procedure for listening to the new Lou Reed + Metallica collaborative release, "LuLu": 1: Get ahold of the album, "Lulu" 2: Place disc in computer, stereo or whatnot in your house/room with no one around. 3: Rufie yourself (or get REALLY REALLY DRUNK) 4: Press >Play< Now you can say that you've listended to the whole album without having the devastating mental after effects of remembering the experience! Afternotes: for 1) free doesn't mean steal it, a terrible experience doesn't constitue a misdemeanor; for number 3) obviously rohypnol is a terrible drug and i don't endorse getting involved with it at all, and if you get drunk....please disconnect all your phones and lock your doors/windows and stash the keys...please
    JJ1990
    Reighnart wrote: I reallllly like St. Anger. Especially Invisible kid. And now I can flaunt that openly of U.G. because of how much Lulu blows.
    Would listen to St Anger over this album any day! It's not that it's really bad (there are some cool guitar riffs in it, but also St Anger has it) but the lyrics and Lou Reeds voice are some things I can't stand!
    Archieisted
    Right ultimate guitar please get a grip on opinion, you dont like and some people do be mature about it. You can discuss music without firing off swear words like a 12 year old who just discovered them
    Archieisted
    If you read the 9 review it makes sense, he liked it you didnt, neither of you are wrong
    thebigal
    This Lulu album is the worst thing I have ever heard. "Ever" Lou Reed is a tosser, I have never heard worse signing or lyrical structure in my whole life. If he is a Rolling stones hall of fame legend, then I'm a freaking astronaut.
    Battman1993
    At the end of Junior Dad (the only good song on this giant p.o.s. and the only song Metallica wrote on LuLu), they should've put the sound of gunshots to represent all the unsuspecting people who shot themselves after listening to LuLu.
    stage4saiyan
    Dumbasses need to realize the main focus is Reed, not Metallica. They provided the music, which is damn good. They had nothing to do with the lyrics and horrible singing, obviously. People are ripping on Metallica to get attention, they're merely the "sidekick" in this album.
    mjosephw52
    DamageInc13 wrote: [quote]Shavyi wrote: Why doing a review if you first say that you prefer Megadeth to Metallica ?
    How does that affect anything? He didn't say he didn't like Metallica. That really affects nothing and does not serve as a reason not to write a review.
    Reighnart
    I reallllly like St. Anger. Especially Invisible kid. And now I can flaunt that openly of U.G. because of how much Lulu blows.
    NautaElain
    I thought Metallica was still ok after... Well after Justice, but now im like what a **** is wrong with them!? How can they possibly think this is good music? Respect for them is really going down... And if u look what megadeth has done past years. Metallica released DEATH MAGNETIC which was pretty good comperin to previous 'Tallica albums, but at the (almost) same time Megadeth released ENDGAME which is no doubt better album than Metallica has done... ever!! And now Megadeth releases 13 and metallica lulu (Yes i no its NOT Metallica album, but still...) This is just sad!