Ten First-Listen Reactions to Lou Reed and Metallica’s Lulu

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It’s hard to tell people you care about that their newest project was a really bad idea, especially when those people are Lou Reed and Metallica. But, here we have it: Lulu, an album inspired by plays about a tortured dancer. It’s awkwardly graphic, oversexed and heavy in all the wrong places, and we listened to it in case you were too afraid to. Here’s our Lulu track-by-track breakdown. And if you’re brave enough, take a listen here.

1 – Brandenburg Gate
Length: 4:19
Ridiculousness Rating: Bat-Shit Crazy
In the acoustic-led opening ballad, we’re introduced to what’s most popularly referred to as LouTallica: the surprisingly sloppy, rambling collaboration between Lou Reed and Metallica. The track is a looping, punishing attack on the ears with Reed appearing notably lost right out of the gate.
“Standout” Lyric: I would cut my legs and tits off when I think of Boris Karloff.

2 – The View
Length: 5:17
Ridiculousness Rating: Pretty Nuts
Welcome to the opening single off of the album: the song that most bands use to show off their most accessible track. Instead, “The View” confirms that Reed’s voice goes with Metallica like mustard goes on a peanut butter sandwich.
“Standout” Lyric: I want you on the floor And in a coffin your soul shaking / I want to have you doubting every meaning you’ve amassed

3 – Pumping Blood
Length: 7:24
Ridiculousness Rating: Pretty Nuts
Remember when Beavis and Butthead would get really excited when a heavy song would come on MTV? And remember how mad they would get when the songs would start to like, suck? “Pumping Blood” opens up with some of the most pleasant sounds on the album so far—some driving, mangled violins and cellos that give way to some even more amped-up guitars. It isn’t until Reed comes in with that spoken-word half-talk/half-yelp that he’s been sporting so far when the song is totally wrecked. But, there are actually redeeming qualities to this track. As the song mellows down, you can sort of make sense out of what the group is going for, but all is lost again near the five-minute mark.
“Standout” Lyric: I swallow your sharpest cutter Like a colored man’s dick / Blood spurting from me Blood spurting from me

4 – Mistress Dread
Length: 6:51
Ridiculousness Rating: Moderate
The track starts off in prime Ride the Lightning-era Metallica mode with thrash-metal guitars and drums doing most of the heavy lifting. It’s too bad that no one told Lou Reed, who lazily lounge-style croons over the pounding beats.
“Standout” Lyric: But I open the sticks, sticky legs I bear and then insert a fist, an arm / Some lost appendage, please open me I beg

5 – Iced Honey
Length: 4:36
Ridiculousness Rating: Tame
This song actually sounds what I expected Lou Reed and Metallica to sound like. It’s a little hokey, but really, no gripes here.

6 – Cheat On Me
Length: 11:26
Ridiculousness Rating: Tame
Maybe I’ve been listening to this for too long, or maybe it’s just growing on me, but the track isn’t that horrendous. Instead, it’s building, mellowed out and heavy in it’s own right. We get a little more insight into this weirdo character that the album’s been following the whole time, and the lyrics are a little rough around the edges, and the end is hard to listen to with the band doing that thrash-thing under Reed’s vocals. But now I’m not completely banking on hating the rest of this album.
“Standout” Lyric: I’m only young once, I want to taste it all and have fun. / I have no real feelings in my soul where most have passion I got a hole

7 – Frustration
Length: 8:34
Ridiculousness Rating: Moderate
“Frustration” so far is the track that’s made the most sense. It finds a happy medium between Reed’s half-talk and Metallica’s hard-hitting approach. That is, until there’s an absolute musical break that features Reed rambling some very questionable lyrics over a Lars Ulrich drum solo (I know, you were really hoping for one). What happened, guys? You were doing so well.
“Standout” Lyric: I puke my guts out at your feet. You’re more man than I / To be dead to have no feeling, to be dry and spermless like a girl

8 – Little Dog
Length: 8:01
Ridiculousness Rating: Moderate
We’re far into the abyss that is the band’s “long song” territory. The final five songs of the album take up almost an hour, and “Little Dog” is definitely the slump in that period. If you were having trouble getting through the album at this point, this slow acoustic piece isn’t going to make it easier.
“Standout” Lyric: You sniff your shit in the wind. Follow me around, pathetic little dog

9 – Dragon
Length: 11:08
Ridiculousness Rating: Call Nurse Ratched
This song doesn’t find its feet until the guitars and drums kick in nearly a third of the way through the song, and this is all starting to feel really drawn out. To make matters worse, the lyrics read like a short story, and you basically realize that this track is probably there to tie some stuff together — although I’m not quite sure what.
“Standout” Lyric: The smell of your armpit, the taste of your vulva and everything on it. / We all really love you

10 – Junior Dad
Length: 19:29!
Ridiculousness Rating: Moderate
Well, here it is. The final, too-drawn-out ending of LouTallica’s first album. The first half of the song is based on a looping clean guitar riff that expands into a sparse string section. The second section of the song plays out like an exaggerated version of the ending of a film, and I sat and listened for about five minutes while realizing that Reed and ‘Tallica weren’t coming back for an encore. The track time is deceiving — Reed and Metallica are mostly done playing by the halfway point, so don’t expect a full 20-minute opus from the guys themselves. So, if you’re finding it hard to finish the album at this point, go ahead and shut it off now and get to whatever you were thinking about doing — you’ve already been so brave.

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