Record Label: Warner Bros.
Release Date: October 31st, 2011.
And the worst idea of 2011 award goes to: Lou Reed & Metallica. Firstly, I would like to state that this album contains instances of Metallica lead singer James Hetfield shouting the lyrics “I am the table” and old age pensioner Lou Reed crooning “spermless like a girl”, quite unexpectedly. So, here we go. Lulu as a concept album is based loosely on two plays originally written by German playwright Frank Wedekind in which a sexually enticing young dancer rises up in German society through her sexual relationships to only later fall into poverty and prostitution. This album is a spoken word, heavy metal album? Yup. It a double disk album which contains tracks that range from five minutes to twenty? Yup. It is a musical train wreck? Yup yup yup.
First single “The View” however, isn’t all that bad. The spoken word elements are very powerful here and the walls of metal help its message to build in intensity. Metallica on this album are merely the backup band with lead singer Hetfield taking support vocals to Reeds poetic ramblings for the majority of the work. “Iced Honey” is a highlight track amongst the clutter presented here; it is a simplistic metal jam, and is quite similar to the tunes Metallica usually churn out. In the worst places on this album the music often sounds shrill and directionless. It can then more often drop into background noise to support the lyrics; but the lyrics are so nonsensical after awhile that you end up concentrating on the dull instrumentals. “Pumping Blood” and “Mistress Dread” encapsulate these problems perfectly.
“Cheat on Me” asks the heartfelt question, “why do I cheat on me?”, but for eleven minutes. I felt like cheating on them too by the end. “Frustration” which is easily the best metal track on the album, is also the most lyrically grotesque and stupid "You’re feeling less whore but you stimulate/the hatred smolders in your eyes/I’d drop to my knees in a second/to salivate in your thighs." This album will make you claustrophobic. When Lou Reed speaks you will at points think long and hard about Alzheimer’s disease. Especially when I tell you that Reed has been quoted recently as wanting a sequel. Be afraid, be very afraid.