Warner Bros., 2011
REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/07/2011
I’m sure Lou Reed and Metallica felt magic during these recording sessions. But whether I’ll be able to stomach this release ever again remains to be seen. If you see this album on any music critic's “Best Of 2011” lists, you need to stop reading right there.
There is plenty to hate on this release; that's as simply as I can say it. When I listened and reviewed a lot of death metal, I always found myself writing something to the effect of “The music is good, but the vocals are awful.” The same can be said of Lulu. I recognize it is Metallica’s right to work with whom they want and it is their right to experiment, but I just can’t see where there is a good reason to hear Lou Reed speak – he doesn’t really sing – while Metallica assaults their instruments.
It’s a constant teeter-totter of “That was cool” and “That makes no sense.” Sometimes it perks the ears and sometimes it makes you long for “Fade To Black,” from Metallica’s Ride The Lightning. In fact, if you go back to “Fade To Black” and 1984, when the album was released, and you hear an acoustic guitar on a metal album, then you have heard Metallica experiment before. In fact, you probably like that song.
You may not like anything on this release. Remember “Ronnie” from Load or Reload (those two releases that blur together in a pile of crap)? That sort of experimentation is similar to what you hear here on “Brandenburg Gate.” Starting this release off interestingly enough with an acoustic guitar strumming followed by the most quoted lyrics on the Internet: “I would cut my legs and tits off / When I think of Boris Karloff and Kinski / In the dark of the moon / It made me dream of Nosferatu / Trapped on the isle of Doctor Moreau.” There are some cultural references to look up when you are bored! This is followed by the first “single” or full song that most people heard, “The View.” I wasn’t impressed when I first heard it and it hasn’t grown on me.
I always take the underdog’s side to an argument -- except this time. Lulu is a waste of time and energy. I do not know if these two entities (Metallica, Lou Reed) will ever allow themselves to be photographed together after the media attention that surrounds this release dies down. Metallica is due to begin working on their tenth studio album in the near future. I sincerely hope that all the “experimentation” that they had bubbling inside has been fleshed out as a rough draft on this disc. Some of the background riffs are okay, but they needed to be fleshed out without Lou Reed speaking over them. These tracks could have been demos that no one needed to hear.
|Is this Lou's follow-up to Metal Machine Music?|