This has been a busy week, so I am going to be quick with this one. As many of you may already know, Metallica and Velvet Underground’s Lou Reed have collaborated on an album together. The album is titled, “Lulu”. According to their website, the album is inspired by a couple of plays written by a German expressionist, and is meant to be a narrative interpretation of sorts. I don’t know much about Velvet Underground, but I listened to a couple of songs and it sounds nice – quite poetic, simple yet chaotic in places, with vocals that are very Dylan-esque. I am definitely familiar with Metallica, as I’m sure most people are – they are arguably the most successful metal band and are known for fast riffs, growling vocals, and frantic guitar solos. When I heard of this collaboration, I was intrigued. I thought that maybe Metallica was trying to branch out and expand their horizons. I was almost expecting some kind of stripped down Metallica, or an amped up Lou Reed, or somewhere in between. Instead, what we have is this:
I’m just going to be straight with you guys : I don’t know what the fuck this is. I don’t know what it is supposed to be, or what I’m supposed to do with it. I am never one to discount music because it sounds odd or out of place – and I am definitely not against experimentation. All that being said, SERIOUSLY GUYS WHAT IS IT. If this song were an animal, I would kill it with a sword made from metal stolen from the Vatican. If it were a person, I would wholeheartedly endorse sending it to Abu Graib. I never thought I would say this, but James Hedfield’s singing is the best part of that song. Was their idea of a collaboration just having Reed talk dryly into a microphone and then put that over some half-finished Metallica songs? Usually, the word “collaboration” involves some kind of…um…collaboration. I don’t even have time to talk about how awful the production and mixing of this is. I would be far more forgiving if the shit that Lou was saying was provocative in some way, but jesus christ, “I want to see your suicide” – fucking, WHAT? Did Reed age backwards? Is he 16 now? I used to sit in my basement and write cryptic poetry about death and depression when I was that age, and even I didn’t say anything that stupid. The only explanations that I can come up with as to why this exists is A) Everyone involved simultaneously became senile and autistic; B) MASSIVE amounts of drugs; or C) Together, they have all created an entirely new level of pretension. Personally, I’m going with C).
Now, just to be clear, I’m never opposed to the idea that maybe I just don’t get something. Maybe this is just too smart for me, or too “out there” for me to appreciate. That being said, I just have no idea how this was released. “St. Anger” was terrible, but this makes it look like their magnum opus. Please, I’m begging you, if you have any insight as to what the hell this is supposed to be, please let me know. If I’m wrong, I will admit it, and then continue to not listen to any Metallica or Velvet Underground, respectively.
As a bonus, here is a group of 10 year olds playing “Enter Sandman” just as well as Metallica does.