Lou Reed & Metallica — "Lulu" Review
Mon, 31 Oct 2011 16:38:08
Lou Reed and Metallica find harmony in discord on Lulu.
That's the most intriguing thing about their collaboration album. Amid the gnashing orchestra of distortion of Reed's narrative bloodletting, there's something infectious about Lulu. Both acts remain legends because they've never been afraid to challenge themselves and audiences. Isn't that splendor inherent in Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning as well as Transformer? That fuck-you-I'm-going-to-create-honest-art ethos has fueled these respective careers. So, that said, no one should be surprised that Lulu is a journey in and of itself rather than a collection of one-and-done singles.
This is neither a Metallica nor Lou Reed record in the proper sense. It's something else. It's only real pop culture comparison might be Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, and that's primarily because the album's theatrical backdrop involving tragedy and a dancer. Other than that, Lulu is a "walk on the wild side" unto itself.
Over the course of these two discs, there's a lot of bludgeoning jamming from James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett. Their riffs bruise with an airtight precision on "Pumping Blood" and the near 12-minute violence of "Cheat on Me". Hetfield's vocal wallop is as powerful as ever on "Brandenburg Gate" and "The View". Lars Ulrich's beats fuel the rollercoaster as Robert Trujillo lays down a volatile bass chug. Everything spirals out of control down the conceptual rabbit hole on the second disc with the 19-minute plus "Junior Dad". Reed relays this darkly evil tale in a soft-spoken word as the band rips through some truly progressive pummeling.
Lulu certainly is for the open-minded. However, isn't all great art? There are questions that this album poses. It was made quickly and on a truly creative whim. These gentlemen weren't concerned with singles or any other posturing. They simply followed their hearts. That's refreshing in and of itself. In a day and age where movie studios are scared shitless to release anything but a sequel, adaptation or retread and labels won't put any money into anything that's not a surefire pop single, Lulu is emblematic that chances still need to be taken.
Will you be picking up Lulu tomorrow November 1, 2011?
See our review of "The View" here!