metal talk
facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
metal talk






  JONATHAN CHURCHILL: DEFENDING OUR ISLAND

LOU REED & METALLICA
'Lulu'
(Warner Bros)
Released: 31st October 2011


jonathan churchill

Pin It
Share |


You know the dread that comes over you when a friend offers to show you all their wedding photos? And the video too? Well that's the feeling you ought to get if somebody offers to play you a track from Lou Reed and Metallica's collaboration, 'Lulu'. I've had the opportunity to listen to the entire album. All of it. Every note. It's fair to say that it has left a lasting impression.

metallicaloureedlulu

MetalTalk.net is all about positivity. We love our Metal and we're certainly not here to knock rock stars with fragile egos and too much money off their perches. Something, however, has gone horribly wrong and it's only fair that we should hold a Metal inquisition.

The first thing to establish is exactly what on earth this is. Well, according to the official press release, 'Lulu' is a set of extended songs inspired by German expressionist Frank Wedekind's early 20th Century plays, 'Earth Spirit' and 'Pandora's Box' (much admired by Freud). The plays, originally published in 1904 and set in Germany, Paris and London in the 1890s, whirl between the points of view of Lulu, an inverted-Eve-like cipher-mirror of desire and abuse, and the people who fall desperately in love with her. Then she meets Jack The Ripper...

Article continues below...

   


Reed had previously sketched out some lyrics and after meeting with Metallica in 2009, they decided to work together. At first glance, a genuinely innovative and exciting idea. The power and intensity of Metallica in full flow, but with a lyricist and poet who can write words that infiltrate your soul.

As a fully inducted member of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, Lou Reed has earned a great deal of respect throughout his career. His dark, obscure and nihilistic outpourings are perfect for heavy Metal and there's a genuine resonance between the music and lyrics on Lulu. It's unfortunate then that, as far as I can tell, it's pure self-indulgent nonsense.

What we have here is a mixed bag of pretentious lyrics and tedious music which surprises and delights in equal measure. Surprises because it's much more boring and faux-intellectual than I could have imagined. And delights because it is hilarious to think that thousands of unsuspecting rednecks in the Deep South may be getting this for Christmas alongside their new baseball cap and Kid Rock's Greatest Hits.

In my opinion, Metallica have struggled for years now to lay the ghost of 'The Black Album' to rest. Regardless of your opinion on thatrecord, it is a monster and it's not that they aren't talented enough to move forward, but I've always felt they lost their sense of purpose. As a fervently anti-establishment band in the early eighties, 'The Black Album' introduced them to the mainstream. It simultaneously launched them into the stratosphere and ruined their Metal credentials. Millions of people who would never touch a Slayer or Megadeth album suddenly embraced Metallica, who just recently performed at a corporate event for Salesforce.com. That's the sort of behaviour you expect from KISS, not a proper thrash Metal band.

Lou Reed, on the other hand, clearly needs an outlet for his poetry. The bin would be my suggestion. However, Metallica have decided to put it to music. Fair enough. They probably weren't sure how to politely say "no", and the next thing you know they're all in a recording studio, and one thing led to another. I'm presuming Trent Reznor had a similar issues when Rob Halford popped in one day wearing a feather boa and eyeliner, clutching some surreal lyrics, asking to make an industrial album with his new band, 2wo.

What interests me is that the album is very true to itself and is totally non-commercial. It means that if this sells or is critically acclaimed, it will be on the strength of the material and not because there are two famous names involved. The cover artwork is provocative and blatantly sets the tone for what's inside. And the overall lyrical content and musical feel is basically the mad Danish director, Lars von Trier, set to music. So far so Lou Reed then.

Getting under the skin of 'Lulu' requires patience, stamina and a very open mind. It's a record that will polarise opinion for years to come, but I'm sure - just like Meatloaf's 'Bat Out Of Hell III' - there is somebody, somewhere, alone and in a black T-shirt, who will genuinely appreciate this record.

Notable moments include:

'The View', an interesting slow-paced track with a gentle drum intro and an introspective poetry-style spoken word delivery. There's a real sense of Michael Stipe's vocal from REM's 'New Adventures In Hi-Fi', another deliberately non-commercial piece. This track reminds me strongly of 'E-bow The Letter'. It's just nowhere near as good.

'Frustration' focuses just on the drums and vocals for large parts. It's interesting to hear Lars freestyling with Reed droning over the top. It's certainly different and definitely doesn't sound like it was written by an eight year-old with ADHD.

According to press interviews with the band, 'Junior Dad', the nineteen-minute finale, brought James and Kirk to tears. The last eight minutes or so is just the sound of what may be a viola gently playing one note. It will reduce most Metallica fans to tears.

anthraxworshipmusic

Conclusion:

Reviewing a collaboration is a tricky business. Is this a Metallica album featuring Lou Reed or a Lou Reed album featuring Metallica? The difference is important. Lou Reed being a seminal sixties and seventies artistic pioneer. Metallica being the world's most popular heavy Metal band. They have widely different audiences and little crossover.

A new Lou Reed album is to be treated with extreme caution. It's bound to be 'artistic' and 'challenging' and have an alleged intellectual depth. Invariably, it won't be popular.

These days though, a new Metallica album is, in fact, also to be treated with caution! Recent releases have been - um - 'artistic', 'challenging' and have had an alleged new-found intellectual depth. Invariably, they aren't popular.

Having put 'Lulu' through a Metal Inquisition and tightened the thumbscrews on this bizarre experiment, it's fair to say that I think this is very much a Lou Reed record. Metallica have done a fair job of creating an audio landscape for his poetic gushing, but the lyrics and delivery by Reed is so dominant that it's easy to overlook Metallica's contribution. As such, if you're a fan of Lou Reed, this is another great challenging artistic piece with hidden depths. I'm sure it will win a Grammy or find favour with pseudo-intellectuals who enjoy alternative sounds.

If you're Metallica fan, I'd suggest you don't put yourself through the torment of this record. There's little here for thrash fans and it's best viewed as an experiment and not a proper Metallica record. For those brave enough to take the 'Lulu' challenge - please post your comments below or on the MetalTalk.net Facebook page! For me - it's a thumbs down. It's not an album I'd ever listen to under any circumstances, but credit to Metallica for trying something new. However, Anthrax and Megadeth have both been busy in the studio proving that their 1980s success was no fluke. Megadeth's previous two albums have been outstanding and Anthrax's 'Worship Music' is easily one of the albums of the year. The question must be asked why on earth Metallica aren't able to find a similar vein of form? They certainly seem to have time on their hands to showcase their talents with Lou Reed.

Listen to whole album:

http://www.loureedmetallica.com/listen-to-lulu.php


26.10.11

Jonathan Churchill. MetalTalk.net
Follow me on Twitter: MetalTalk_1976


Share |






 
iron maiden IRON MAIDEN RELEASE VIDEO GAME BASED ON 'SPEED OF LIGHT'
This is your chance to control Eddie Donkey Kong style...

lemmy MOTORHEAD PULL SALT LAKE CITY CONCERT AFTER FOUR SONGS
A statement on the official Motorhead Facebook page said: "The people are great, but the air is just too thin..."

heavy metal kids HEAVY METAL KIDS ANNOUNCE GARY HOLTON TRIBUTE GIG
The show marks the 30th anniversary of Gary's death. He passed away at the age of 33 due to his excessive rock 'n roll lifestyle...

the sword THE SWORD TO COMMENCE UK TOUR IN SEPTEMBER
The tour is in support of their fifth album 'High Country'...

wolf GENTLEMANS PISTOLS ANNOUNCE LONDON SHOW AT THE UNDERWORLD
"We hope you can dust off the Monday blues and join us for a debauched evening of wine, whiskey and song..."

wolf WOLF ANNOUNCE TOUR WITH ENFORCER
"This package is so much Metal that everyone coming to the shows will have a hard time passing airport security and metal detectors for a foreseeable future..."

jared james nichols JARED JAMES NICHOLS TO RELEASE 'HIGHWAYMAN' EP
The EP features the new single 'We're An American Band'...

michael monroe MICHAEL MONROE REVEALS 'BLACKOUT STATES' ARTWORK + CO-HEADLINE TOUR WITH HARDCORE SUPERSTAR
"It has all the ingredients of a perfect rock n' roll record - strong melodic songs with great meaningful lyrics that defy all clichés..."

turbowolf TURBOWOLF ANNOUNCE UK, EUROPE & US TOUR DATES
"Seeing all your wonderful faces, staring into those expectant eyes, and giving you all exactly what you're looking for, and maybe a little bit more..."

mike shinoda MIKE SHINODA'S FORT MINOR TO PLAY FIRST LONDON SHOW IN 10 YEARS
Shinoda will fit in these special one man shows around Linkin Park's European tour...

babymetal BABYMETAL TO HEADLINE WEMBLEY ARENA NEXT APRIL
Can't wait till April? Two new live DVD releases have also been confirmed for October release...

cats in space CATS IN SPACE ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF DEBUT ALBUM 'TOO MANY GODS' FOR OCTOBER 2015
Welcome to a new brand of Power Pop Rock from a band with a stellar CV...

nightwish NIGHTWISH TO RELEASE 'ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL' TOUR EDITION
The special edition is released on October 30th and comes with a DVD stuffed to the brim with bonus features...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ANNOUNCE MASSIVE 2016 WORLD TOUR
The new Ed Force One will take the band, crew and over 12 tons of equipment more than 55,000 miles (88,500km) around the planet...

glenn hughes BREAKING NEWS: GENE SIMMONS' HOME SEARCHED UNDER WARRANT IN CONNECTION WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY INVESTIGATION
Police have confirmed that neither the Kiss bass player or any members of his family are considered to be suspects in the investigation...

glenn hughes GLENN HUGHES UNVEILS OFFICIAL PHOTO OF NEW BAND
Glenn hits the UK for live shows in October. "There is no greater high than performing and to reach out to my fans..."

gentlemans pistols GENTLEMANS PISTOLS PREMIERE NEW TRACK 'THE SEARCHER' ONLINE
"The song is about becoming apathetic towards things you once enjoyed and searching for where you are going in life..."

vreid NEW ALBUM FROM NORWEGIAN METALLERS VREID IS RELEASED IN OCTOBER
"This is the definition of our lives and heritage...the fire burns stronger than ever..."

napalm death NAPALM DEATH JOIN UK LEG OF "DEATHCRUSHER" TOUR
The Deathcrusher tour contains the very best in Grindcore...

blitzkrieg EXCLUSIVE: BLITZKRIEG RELEASE 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF 'A TIME OF CHANGES'
The classic album has been completely re-recorded and contains two bonus tracks...

w.a.s.p. W.A.S.P. PREMIERE NEW SONG - 'LAST RUNAWAY'
"The song is an intensely personal account of what happened to me, not only then but over the years and the success that followed after..."

nervosa NERVOSA UNLEASH NEW VIDEO FOR 'INTO MOSHPIT'
The band are currently on tour in the UK...

metal allegiance METAL ALLEGIANCE POST STUDIO TRAILER FOR 'DESTINATION: NOWHERE'
The track features Matt Heafy on vocals and guitar. A special launch show has been arranged to celebrate the album release...

uriah heep URIAH HEEP STAGE CLASSIC REUNION WITH CORE MEMBERS OF THE CLASSIC 1970S LINE-UP
Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake are welcomed to the Moscow Crocus in October for the exclusive event...

rage against the machine RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE 'LIVE AT FINSBURY PARK' TO BE RELEASED
The free concert held after the success of the Christmas Number One campaign is now available in a quality package...

helloween HELLOWEEN ANNOUNCE LONDON FORUM SHOW FOR FEBRUARY 2016
"We feel pleased and honoured to yet again come to London UK..."

rammstein RAMMSTEIN UNLEASH NEW 'RAMMSTEIN IN AMERIKA' DOCUMENTARY AND 'LIVE FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN' DVD
The incredible package is immaculately filmed and bursting with content...

amulet AMULET LAUNCH VIDEO FOR 'BLOODY NIGHT' & ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
Be preapred for a Heavy Metal attack...

guitar of your dreams MAKE'N MUSIC ANNOUNCES $3,250 GUITAR GIVEAWAY
Calling all guitarists - there isn't a cooler giveaway throughout the entire industry...

dan patlansky JOE SATRIANI EXTENDS EUROPEAN TOUR WITH DAN PATLANSKY AS SPECIAL GUEST
This part of the tour now encompasses 10 countries, 25 shows and 33 days...

tad morose TAD MOROSE TO TOUR EUROPE IN SEPTEMBER WITH SILENT CALL
The Swedish double bill celebrates the release of Tad Morose's new album 'St Demonius'...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN PREMIERE VIDEO FOR 'SPEED OF LIGHT'
The brand new track is taken from 'The Book Of Souls' double album due out on September 4th...

pentagram PENTAGRAM ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPE SHOWS
"We all are itching to perform some of our songs off of our new album 'Curious Volume' for you..."

born again BORN AGAIN - HEAVY METAL SOUNDHOUSE DAYS REVISTED AT THE BLACK HEART CAMDEN
Relive the glory days on the 22nd August with the best music around...

wildfire FIRST BANDS ANNOUNCED FOR WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016
Scotland's stellar Rock and Metal festival starts the buzz for 2016 with six quality names...

hotei HOTEI TO RELEASE DEBUT INTERNATIONAL ALBUM 'STRANGERS' ON OCTOBER 16TH
With an impressive range of guests, the world renowned Japanese guitarist and songwriter unleashes an epic album...

rich robinson RICH ROBINSON ANNOUNCES ACOUSTIC TOUR FOR SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2015
The Black Crowes' guitarist presents a stripped down, storytelling evening...

sonic syndicate SONIC SYNDICATE ANNOUNCE NEW BASS PLAYER AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF KARIN AXELSSON
The band premiere the new line up with the profound video for 'Diabolical Work Of Art'...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD ADD EXTRA LONDON SHOW TO 2016 EUROPEAN TOUR WITH SAXON AND GIRLSCHOOL
We suggest ear-plugs and fortitude, because Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey are more intent than ever on showing at great volume that they are Motörhead and they play rock n' roll...

venrez VENREZ PREMIERE NEW LYRIC VIDEO AHEAD OF MICHAEL SCHENKER EUROPEAN TOUR
'Children Of The Drones' is the title track of the new album...

majesty GHOST PREMIERE 'MAJESTY' FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM 'MELIORA'
Papa Emeritus III and his nameless ghouls will return to North America and Europe with a tour this autumn...

imperial state electric IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC SUPPORT GRAVEYARD & RELEASE NEW ALBUM
The release of Imperial State Electric's 'Honk Machine' brings their live show to the UK for the first time...

chantel mcgregor CHANTEL McGREGOR ANNOUNCES HER NEW ALBUM 'LOSE CONTROL' AND UK TOUR DATES
After four years of touring and festival appearances, Chantel returns with a vengeance with ten new songs...

lynne jackaman SOUL-ROCK SONGSTRESS JACKAMAN PERFORMS NEW EP 'NO HALO' LIVE IN LONDON
The show at Camden's Barfly on September 24th is set to be memorable for all the right reasons...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT RELEASES THIRD REHEARSAL VIDEO CLIP FOR 40TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR IN OCTOBER
Preparations appear to be going very well indeed...

steve n seagulls STEVE'N'SEAGULLS ANNOUNCE THE SEAGULL HAS LANDED UK TOUR & NEW VIDEO
Anyone for hillbillified Iron Maiden...?

gentlemans pistols GENTLEMANS PISTOLS ANNOUNCE TRACK LISTING AND UNVEIL THE ARTWORK FOR 'HUSTLER'S ROW'
"A turbulent voyage of the sweetest sufferings and the most inexpensive of thrills..."

queensryche QUEENSRŸCHE REVEAL ALBUM COVER ART AND TRACK-LISTING FOR 'CONDITION HÜMAN'
The hard rock giants continue to thrill with their latest offering...

udo U.D.O. SAYS FINAL FAREWELL TO ACCEPT'S CATALOGUE
In a surprise announcement Udo Dirkschneider has confirmed that he will no longer play songs from the Accept library after one final tour...

operation mindcrime OPERATION: MINDCRIME REVEAL 'RE-INVENTING THE FUTURE', THE FIRST SINGLE FROM NEW ALBUM
The release from Geoff Tate's current project marks the first of a trilogy of albums...


metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2015, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery