Lou Reed & Metallica
As someone who loves the earlier work of both parties involved, I wanted Lulu to be good. Weeks before actually hearing this miscast collab between Grampa Lou and Metallica(n’t), I imagined what it would sound like. And you know what? The result is exactly as I imagined: not good. Lulu actually comes across like two separate projects—recorded completely independently and shoehorned together for some cheap YouTube mashup. Reed grumbles and mumbles his way through paradoxical (“arty”) lyrics based on an early 20th century German expressionist play, while the members of Metallica (damn I used to love this band! Kill-’Em-All rules; WTF happened?) bumble their way through beefy (extra cheesy) riffs that are more tired-sounding than the 69-year-old Reed. Of course, I don’t think anyone in their right mind thought Lulu was going to be good. But—there’s always a but—something good did come of this: Reed and Metallica are ecstatic with the outcome—all 89 minutes of it—and have acknowledged that the project gave them more artistic freedom than they’ve had in years. Which is more important than what some half-cocked music critic thinks, right? It still doesn’t make it listenable.