Bad on Paper, Bad in Practice.

I’m not going to lie. When I first heard about the collaboration happening between Lou Reed and Metallica, all I could think of was that, this sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. And the truth is, as I read more and more about it that feeling didn’t subside; especially after I read this statement from one of its protagonists: “Lulu’ is one of the best things we’ve ever done.” The aforementioned lofty statement—in case you’re wondering— came from Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett.

Yet, had it come from Lou Reed, the result would have been the same: lofty. Why? Just take a quick glance at their body of work. For example, Metallica. From 1983 to 1991, the ‘Heavy Metal’ foursome, released classic after classic. Sure, they lost the plot for a bit after the fact, but during those years these dudes were unstoppaple. As far as Lou Reed, well, his story is a little different. With the Velvet Underground, from 1967 to 1970, Reed released four classic albums. His solo work, however, was a little spotty. Yet, despite that spottiness, he still managed to release five or six—give or take—solid albums.

Because of the scope of work between the two, it’s hard to take a such a statement seriously. Especially when you actually hear what came out of it; an album that is, for lack of a better description, just plain awful. I’m not even kidding when I say that, I was chuckling, uncontrollably at times, when I was listening to Lou Reed and Metallica’s album Lulu. I mean, opening track “Brandenburg Gate,” not only caused me laughter but, also a lot of pain. Laughter because of Lou Reed’s quasi-singing, more-so, spoken word vocals over throwaway Metallica guitar riffs peppered with Hammett’s howl in the chorus. In other words, painful to hear.

Here’s the succinct deal: If you want to hear what a train-wreck sounds like, than pick up this album. You will not be disappointed in that department. However, if you’re picking this up thinking that you’re getting “the best they’ve ever done” than maybe you should pick up, if you haven’t already; Master of Puppets, or Ride the Lightning or Velvet Underground and Nico or White Light/White Heat. Well, you get the gist.