Lulu sees two music legends become a combined abomination

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Brandon Osborne
bosborne@radford.edu

It’s no doubt that Lou Reed is one of rock’s most well respected vocalists and that Metallica is one of heavy metals biggest bands. Lou Reed is well-known for his time as vocalist/guitarist in the band Velvet Underground. He also had a very successful career as a solo artist.
Metallica started out as one of the big four bands of thrash, but after the release of their black album the band, merged into the mainstream. The group is one of rock’s most successful bands and they are coming off a number 1 album in Death Magnetic. The two first collaborated at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th Anniversary concert which lead to them deciding to put an album out together.
The album Lulu is based on German playwright Frank Wedekind; two plays which tell the story of a woman who falls into poverty, prostitution and death.
Unfortunately this concept album does not blend together as you would imagine. The album seems to be forced, as Reed does not sound good with Metallica as his backing band.  Reed’s spoken word vocals do not mesh over Metallica’s metal riffs. In songs such as “The View” and “Little Dog,” Reed’s vocals get on your nerves as his monotone voice does not match that songs vibe or rhythm.
Lou Reed was once considered one of the most original musicians in rock history, yet on this album, he sounds like an old man telling stories that make very little sense to anyone. He comes off very unsettling and fans will find themselves hitting the skip button more than once.
Metallica is an extremely talented band, yet you wouldn’t know it if this was all you heard by them. They sound less like Metallica and more like a third rate cover band trying to play Metallica riffs. The tracks on Lulu are all at least four minutes with a few songs over ten minutes, yet in every song they play the same riffs over and over. As for James Hetfield, you hear him in a few songs as background vocals, but it would’ve been wise to have him do lead vocals over Reed as his voice is better suited for the metal riffs.
It’s an album like this that can cause an individual to feel uneasy or even awkward as you can’t figure out what exactly it is you’re listening to. Fans should hold on to their money, as this is one album you will buy then immediately regret spending money on.
Metallica fans should not be upset, as the band has stated several times that this was a collaboration that they wanted to do, and this is in no way a preview of their upcoming release.
As for Lou Reed fans, they may have to accept the fact that Reed is just not as good as he once was. His lyrics seem to only get worst and his spoken word way of singing becoming off-putting. Unfortunately, Reed said the two may do another album, even though he has received several death threats from Metallica fans who were dissapointed by the album.