|Collaboration with Lou Reed.|
|1. Brandenburg Gate||04:19|
|2. The View||05:17|
|3. Pumping Blood||07:24|
|4. Mistress Dread||06:52|
|5. Iced Honey||04:36|
|6. Cheat on Me||11:26|
|2. Little Dog||08:01|
|4. Junior Dad||19:28|
|Total playing time||1:27:04|
Review @ vikingman369
Avantgarde metal...Metallica style
Fortunately, the have. As Kirk Hammett said, this new project is not a 100% Metallica album. In that light, let us forget about Master-of-freaking-Puppets for One moment and just focus on what this new piece, based on Frank Wedekind's Lulu plays and featuring ex-Velvet Underground vocalist and song-writer Lou Reed.
I, for One, was most pleased with the result of this album. After the fans whined about St. Anger, Metallica came out with Death Magnetic, which seemed to be just a sucking up to the butt-hurt fan-boys. Like they were saying "You're right, everything since the Black Album sucked, so here's what you want." Fortunately, with Lulu, Metallica is back to doing whatever the fuck they want. And more Power to them!
This is a fusion of all kinds of genres: noise, metal, electronica, rock and spoken word: all mixed in with a little bit of orchestra. What Metallica and Lou Reed have dOne is making an album based on an opera-play without sounding like symphonic Power metal bands which have dOne the same or, worse, by selling out to the Glee fans (now THAT would be an inexcusable sin on Metallica's part). As far as Metallica goes, there won't be much in the way of James singing: he's there, but the majority of lyrics are dealt out by Lou Reed's raspy spoken word that makes even Ozzy Osbourne's thrashed voice sound heavenly. Most people don't like Lou's singing, but I think it increases the dark atmosphere of the album.
"Brandenburg Gate" starts out our little adventure, with an easy-going intro that soon explodes into something near to a rock sound. Aside from that, and what it contributes to our story, with our heroine (Lulu) contemplating fame, it's decent.
The One most of you have probably heard already is "The View." When I first heard this, I thought someOne was deliberately trying to slander the new album by releasing One of the worst songs on the album. After a couple of listens, its hooks finally sunk in and I could enjoy it for itself. I absolutely love the Riffs in the song, and Lars' drumming sounds like a snare-tame reject from St. Anger. Maybe I'm not totally aware of the story, because I don't know what "I am the table" has to contribute to the main story. But it's fun to say just the same.
So far, I've only listened to most of the first CD and One song from the second One. But that song, "Dragon" is really something. Aside from Lou's weak vocalization at the beginning (I'm reminded of the "Imagination" song from South Park's Imagination-Land episode), once the song kicks into full gear, what you have is One of the first three original Metallica epic tracks (the "Mercyful Fate" medley from Garage Inc. doesn't count since it's not original tracks). The Riffs are killer and filled with doom and a sense of despair. The lyrics are dark and seductive, so much that I feel like I'm watching a dirty movie while listening to this amazing song.
Other high points include the instrumentality on the break-neck "Mistress Dread" and the groovy 90s-rock "Iced HOney". Perhaps the most jarring song is the unnerving "Pumping Blood", which is like a mental break-down set to dissonant noise, complete with Lou Reed wailing as Jack the Ripper violates Lulu. It's quite surprising.
Musically, Metallica is at the top of their game. They play their hearts into this album, and it's interesting to note that these songs were a One-take ordeal. The hardest thing to swallow, of course, is Lou Reed's voice. On the up-side, at least he hasn't stooped to using auto-tune, so we know his voice to be genuine. That's a plus...I guess.
Typically, the majority of fan-boys are angry that Metallica isn't kissing their asses anymore but doing what they want to again. All I can say is that Lulu is avant-garde metal, Metallica style. With every other metal band that has experimented (the big avant-garde names of Scandinavian extreme bands like Ulver, Arcturus and Vintersorg come to mind), there have always been the narrow-minded, insecure, controlling members of each band's fan-dom which have remained obstinately ignorant to the band's decision to explore and try new things. As far as I'm concerned, what I've heard from Lulu is groovy. It's different, but that's not a bad thing. In Metallica's case, it is quite a good thing because if they do release a Master of Puppets II, then they've run out of ideas and have to go back to rehashing already-used material, with nothing new to offer the world. I hope that is The Day That Never Comes. Long Live The Four Horsemen!
Review @ heavymetaltribune
leaves me wondering how I managed to sit through the entire whole 1 and a half hour
Things started looking up until the band's announcement of a collaboration project with famed rock singer/songwriter Lou Reed, which left followers scratching their head, wondering what this collaboration would result in. Right from the start, this smelled almost like a quick cash-grab strategy, what with the high profile announcements and the numerous dramatic narrations of behind-the-scenes incidents that displayed the apparently weak and human side of Metallica guitarist James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett, with each of them being "brought to tears" during the recording of Junior Dad. The eventual release of the album brought about sharp criticisms, especially in the metal scene. Nevertheless, the optimistic side of me decided to take the risk and find out what the big hoo-ha was all about.
Lulu opens with a somewhat bluesy feel with Brandenburg Gate, and this is certainly uncharacteristic of Metallica, and with the opening moments One almost feels threatened with the possibility of this being an entirely acoustic album with no rock instrumentals. Fortunately soon the electric guitars and drums come in, but this silver lining lasts for only a slight moment as Lou Reed begins his rants about whatever, going on and on like a bitter old man, while James Hetfield does nothing but shouts "small-town girl" at the background, sounding like a broken record. Even when Lou Reed attempts to sing, there are moments when he sounds almost as if he were struggling to keep a pitch, and for the most part sound out of tune. And this goes on for almost the entirety of the album. Thanks Lou Reed, for offering to tell me your life story and your random rants, but no thanks. At least do this in a more interesting format if you really have to let me know what you've been through in the past 60 odd years of your life. The extent of annoyance from his vocals is such that even the unimpressive vocals of James Hetfield suddenly sounds extremely welcome.
Sure, there are heavy metal moments such as those on The View and the few chugging Riffs on Pumping Blood, but for the most part of the album the Riffs presented are repetitive and lack any sense of creativity, and it sounds as if the band had run out of songwriting ideas. Even the few lead lines on the album are extremely emotional, sounding more like what pop-punk bands would write instead. The attempts to include other stringed classical instruments like those on Pumping Blood instantly remind me of the abomination that is S&M, only that this is infinitely worse (and it doesn't help that Lou Reed sounds as if he were struggling to keep up with the rhythm). Pumping Blood also sees the band attempting a more metal style, but this fails badly, with the entire band just sounding totally incoherent towards the end of the song, with Lars going trigger-happy behind his kit. Mistress Dread also contains some thrash metal moments at the beginning of the song, and as usual, Lou Reed has to come in and further spoil the entire thing (though there's nothing particularly special about the instrumentals as well) and ends up making the song sound like a bad karaoke session. The only decent track is perhaps Iced HOney, and the song is hardly even "heavy", so to speak, and could have worked as a pop-rock track instead, and Frustration contains quite a number of decent Riffs as well, but that is about all that is good that is offered on Lulu.
As if the 4 minute Brandenburg Gate weren't bad enough, the album is plagued by tracks that start getting longer from the middle of the album onwards, prolonging the suffering that the listener has to go through. In particular, Cheat on Me have an unnecessary and extremely long intro, leaving the listener to become bored easily and Little Dog ends up sounding pretty pointless and gets nowhere. Dragon takes too long to build up for only a short moment of slight Death Magnetic-styled satisfaction and Junior Dad, while being One of the more bearable tracks initially, end up dragging on for far too long.. I know, I know, it's not nice to laugh at such a "sincere" record, but Lulu certainly sounds like an overdOne April Fools' prank to longtime fans of Metallica. Many bands progress over the years, but this? This is regression, not progression. Much as the band talks about how this is the "best damn thing ever written", they can Live in their own little cocoon. It still leaves me wondering how I managed to sit through the entire whole 1 and a half hour.
Comment @ desolate23
I.... I don't know what to say...