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Metallica - Lulu (with Lou Reed) CD (album) cover

LULU (WITH LOU REED)

Metallica

 

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2.13 | 153 ratings

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ProgMetalElite
3 stars Oh boy, Metallica's Lulu. An album that has already become famous over the internet and in real life. Most listeners have placed labels on this new album, labelling it as "the death of Metallica" or "the worst album ever recorded".

I know that it may sound strange, but it's really, really not that bad.

Metallica recently made the strange idea of collaborating with Lou Reed, of The Velvet Underground. This entire collaboration album was written and recorded and finished in just 10 days (surprisingly, since this thing contains 90 minutes of music).

Many people hate this album because it is different. And ho ho oh boy, it is DIFFERENT. Most people, no matter if they like it or not, would categorize this album as at least three things - ambitious, twisted, and incredibly disturbing. Oh, and different, of course.

Lou Reed is the main focal point of this album. He doesn't sing, but he speaks. Much like Dirge (France)'s "Wings of Lead Over Dormant Seas" song, Lou Reed basically recites poetry (which follows a concept about a woman named Lulu, based on a play by Frank Wedekind) while Metallica jams in the background. Lou Reed comes close to singing at many a few points, but never with a real melody. Lou's lyrics are solid, they have a very "metal" feel to them, and they are totally, completely bonkers and insane, but at points they can be admittedly quite ridiculous, and I have gotten more than many giggles out of a few of the lyrics, "Little Dog" and "Pumping Blood" being the most notable. These are perhaps some of the strangest lyrics I have ever heard, only second to Sunn O)))'s song "My Wall".

As for Metallica's side of this album, it is, so to speak "Metallica as usual". Musically, it is more similar to Death Magnetic than their classic 80's thrash albums, but it's not bad, though it could use some work as it does sound a bit sloppy. Take, for example, the intro song "Brandenburg Gate" - it opens with a really distasteful acoustic guitar which sets a course for a mediocre glam rock song. James' vocals are here, and they are very good, better than in Death Magnetic where he sounded tired. However, his vocals here are sparingly used, and for the most part you will be hearing Lou and his bonkers ramblings.

Setting aside the good aspects, though, the drumming is quite horrible. Lars Ulrich has always been a fairly mediocre drummer and has gotten progressively worse and worse with each release, and he makes it known on this album, and he constantly abuses the poor snare drum and cymbal, and his drumming is far too loud in the mix. (The sheer loudness of the drums in the beginning of "The View" was literally painful to listen to.) The second half of "Junior Dad" is also agonizing - it consists simply of a pointless drone sound, and only 11 minutes of actual music.

So, why am I giving this such a "low" (3 star) score, if I seem to like it so much? Well, because it is incredibly demanding to listen to. I would imagine it impossible to sit through all 90 minutes of this bleak, twisted and disturbing affair for all 90 minutes, and of course, the drumming is straight up garbage, and there is a few bad songs. This project is also over-ambitious, and Metallica know they lost alot of fans with this release. I am not one of those fans. I personally think this is a decent to great entry in Metallica's back catelouge, and is without a doubt the most interesting album I have heard in thrash. While I still look forward to Metallica's next "real" album, there is still the darkness and ambience of "Lulu" that will keep me and only a handful of others at least half-satisfied. As for highlights, look out for "Pumping Blood" and (dare I say it) "Little Dog".

Total rating: 3 stars (67% on MPV scale)

ProgMetalElite | 3/5 |

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