Album Review no.23: Lulu - Lou Reed and Metallica

kempokid
I've been meaning to review this album for a while. It's the current number 1 on worst metal albums of all time, and I've heard nothing but bad things about it from everyone. It's obviously the perfect album to look deeply into. As a "special treat" for me, I managed to find a cd version at the library, so I'm going to be listening to it in the highest possible sound quality. Yay...

Brandenburg Gate:
So, this song starts off with some seemingly random chords that sound bad, but not awful, then the vocals start. Lou reed manages to encapsulate everything that I think an old, senile man would sound like into that very first phrase. The song goes from bad to worse when the instrumentals begin, as you can now realise how terribly the album is produced. All of the instruments blend together to form what sounds like one continuous wall of sound. Lou reed continues to sound worse as he tries to sing with ''''''emotion''''''. I think that the worst part of this song is James constantly singing "Small town girl" in the background, as it wears the listener down in a matter of seconds, but never stops during the entire song and becomes obnoxious. At least the song has some kind of basic structure I guess, but I can't give it anymore credit than that.
2/10

The View:
This song has an ok riff, but emphasis on ok, and bigger emphasis on an. The riff grows tiring very quickly, but that's the best part of the song. I don't hate Lou Reed's spoken parts, but they still sound pretty dumb. My least favourite part of the song by far is the awful drumming though, as it's more or less constant cymbal noises while there are occasionally some offbeat drum beats. This song is once again another one that becomes more painful sounding as time goes on. Obligatory mention of the stupid lyrics that James has, as they are extremely stupid. The attempted solo at the end also sucks.
3/10

Pumping Blood:
This one starts off as intriguing, with some cool violins and a simple, but great riff. As I begin to get pumped up for what sounds like a good song, I Lou Reed's vocals remind me what I'm listening to. The fact that this really cool intro riff continues for such a long time is also an issue, as it works well as an intro riff, but isn't fitting as one for song verses. The song then takes a perplexing turn by slowing down completely, it doesn't make any sense to me to do this, as there was no sign of any transition, so it felt sudden and stupid. This slow part is also extremely boring, and the vocals are abysmal. It's a real shame about this, because the buildup from here is actually pretty decent, until you realise all of this buildup takes way too long and dies down multiple times throughout. It's one of the few songs on the album that I feel has some kind of potential, and sounds a lot like something Metallica would write, minus the vocal patterns and lyrics, and vocals in general. This one is less outright terrible, and more disappointing.
5/10

Mistress Dread:
This song on the other hand, does not get the same kind of treatment. Before I get into the main meat of the song, I feel obliged to ask, why is this song's audio quality so much worse than every other song on the album? I honestly thought that my headphones were broken at first. Now, the first thing I'm going to mention is that atrocious riff, it's literally the same 2 or 3 notes and it is constant throughout the entire track. While on songs like the View, I didn't mind the riff at first and then grew to dislike it as the song went on, this one starts out as a mess. Lou Reed sounds like he doesn't know what music is being played, as he doesn't ever sound like he's singing on beat (or on key for that matter). I find nothing about this song that is above disgusting, everything about this song is terrible, and this is one of the worst songs I've ever heard.
0/10

Iced Honey:
This is the closest thing to a song that I can find on the album, I don't even think that Lou Reed's vocals are that bad here. James' small parts in this one also don't sound that bad. I do find this song to be quite boring though, and the production is still really terrible. The song also loses a lot of the quality near the end, where James takes a more prominent role and end up sounding like a total idiot who can't even sing properly, this final minute ultimately brings down the song a lot.
5/10

Cheat On Me:
The first 3 minutes of this song could be cut out and nothing would change. This ambiance at the start isn't even a proper buildup, it's just wasted time in the form of music. Even when the vocals kick in, it still sounds like nothing is being achieved. To create a song that is so unimpressive is an art form, I'm sure of it. The song isn't even that awful, nor the most boring thing ever, it just feels like 11 minutes of pure nothingness. I literally felt no kind of emotion while listening to this for the first time, as it wasn't bad enough to qualify for anger, but wasn't good enough for me to enjoy. I personally find this to be worse than making a bad song though, as at least you can usually laugh at a bad song, or show it to your friends to subject them to it. Even though there is a constant amount of buildup, it doesn't lead anywhere, as the instruments all blend together, once again creating a wall of sound instead of actual music. This song is also extremely repetitive and overlong.
2/10

Frustration:
I don't really understand the intro to this one, it's just random noise. I find the riff to actually be pretty decent and probably my favourite on the album. If this song was about 3 minutes long and just had the best parts, this would be about an 8/10 honestly, but unfortunately, the song begins to fall off once it slows down. This part is just terrible and unnecessary, especially with the worthless drum fills in the background. The slow parts really ruin the song, as the pad it out to lengths it shouldn't be. I also love the ending where the riff is played at a much faster pace. All in all, half of this song is quite enjoyable, and the other half is extremely bad
4/10

Little Dog:
This is another song that goes nowhere, which is extremely annoying, as I cant really criticize anything about it, as I already talked about songs of nothing in length in Cheat On Me. I'll rate it slightly higher solely based on the fact that it only goes for 8 minutes instead of 11.
3/10

Dragon:
I really don't like the first 3 minutes of this, as I feel like the emotion that was trying to be conveyed fell flat, creating 3 minutes of skippable garbage. This feels like one of the strangest and clumsiest songs on the album, as it has Metallica riffs and instrumentals, but the lyrical content and vocal don't sound anything like a Metallica song. With many other songs with Metallica-esque instrumentals, it sounded more or less like a bad Metallica song (obvious exception of Mistress Dread). This is another song that goes on for way too long. So many of these songs bore me to no end. I don't care about the darker sound this individual track has or anything like that when the song just doesn't grab me in any way and sounds terrible.
3/10

Junior Dad:
Ok, while I've been doing nothing but hating everything about this album, this song is actually extremely good at first. The vocals, while not particularly good, sound emotive. Everything about the first half of the song works perfectly, with the collaboration between Lou Reed and Metallica showing what could be achieved. I can't really describe why I love this song, but I just do. If the song ended at the 10 minute mark, I would easily rate this 10/10, but the next 9 minutes are unfortunately filled with viola playing and nothing of substance, which does bring down the song slightly. Despite this, I still find it to be a beautiful song.
8/10

0 + 2*2 + 3*3 + 4 + 2*5 + 8 = 35/100

Final Thoughts:
This album truly is one of the worst pieces of music I've heard, yet I can't hate it. The reason for this is because while it doesn't sound good at any part other than a couple of riffs and the amazing closer, I still feel like there was a lot of effort and passion put into it, more than I feel Metallica put into a fair few of their albums. Rather than a lack of trying I find this to be an assortment of ideas that weren't executed well. I probably will never want to listen to this album again, and I have about 80 different problems with it, but I still have respect for it in many ways.

Comments

Lulu is basically the ultimate troll album in Metal - cjWriter1997

Since you didn't mention it, I just have one more thing to say:

"I AM THE TABLE! I AM I AM I AM! " - xandermartin98

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