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Album Review: Metallica and Lou Reed – Lulu

3 min read

Two of musics most iconic heavyweights unite this month for a treat for fans with the release of Lulu. The two acts in question is of course heavy metal gods Metallica and rock singer/songwriter Lou Reed who has been going strong over the past several decades as both a solo artist and front man of the New York formed rock collective The Velvet Underground.

Lulu is the musical lovechild of the 2 acts following the acclaimed performance of Reed and co at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th Anniversary Concert.

MetallicaAndlouReedMetallica front man James Hetfield has taken a slight back seat on Lulu allowing for Reed to take the vocal honors though rather than belting through each track on the record Reed takes a casually paced approach to the track-listing and delivers most of the tracks on the album in spoken word.

A clangy, laid back steel guitar opens the album with Brandenburg Gate introducing us to Lulu but it isn’t long before the track erupts into what we expect with a collaboration between Reed and Metallica. More rock than heavy metal the song bodes well despite its repetitious lyrics of ‘smalltown girl’ carrying us through just over four minutes before the darker The View offers us a track that is musically brilliant and despite Reed’s irritaing spoken word contribution to the track (which does get very old very fast unfortunately) it is James Hetfield’s aggressive vocals that provide us with some short spurts of diversity in poetic form.

The collection boasts a solid ten tracks and although for a collaborative effort that may not seem like many tracks it is the duration of each of the numbers that fill up the two discs that forms the project. Cheat On Me and Dragon supply the record with some impressive lengths but both fall flat in terms of memorability and unfortunately prove that less is more as you begin to drift off into a period of boredom at the midway point of each track. Standing at a hefty twenty minutes however is the closing Junior Dad which is the opposite. Despite being almost a mini album in itself the track sits well on Lulu and shows off the musicality and genius of the acts, particularly with Metallica as they provide some impressive riffs and the foundation for Reed to cast his vocals over.

Counting us into Iced Honey we are given one of the rare semi sung inclusions on Lulu and the song stands as the highlight here. Hetfield also provides some of his signature wailing as backing to Reed’s darkened vocals.

Overall Lulu proves to be a fair release for the collective. Nothing really to write home about but for fans of both acts it does provide something both creative and different. It is unfortunate that most of the tracks that sit within the track-listing carry the same melancholic tone however and this is what is taken away from the record and feels more like a chore to revisit that to play time and time again as you would any of the acts previously released recordings.

Buy ‘Metallica and Lou Reed – Lulu’ from Amazon