It is a tough album to get into. More so if you bought it with any subjective expectations as to what you're getting. I think a lot of people saw it as a new Metallica album, featuring Lou Reed. Indeed it's the other way around. It is not a new Metallica album, but a Lou Reed & Metallica album. Forget Death Magnetic (fantastic, by the way), because you're not doing anyone a service by comparing it to Lulu.
If you're a close-minded hardcore Metallica listener (if you think I mean hardcore Metallica listeners are close-minded, read it again) you will be disappointed. If you are a music appreciator, an art appreciator, and a Lou Reed and Metallica appreciator, you will need to buy this.
There have been terrible criticisms of the singing, that in some parts of some songs it's out of sync and out of place with the music accompanying it. The whole experience, however, is a tight package of creativity, based on lyrics written by Reed for the play Lulu. I can't stress it enough that this album is something separate the known sphere of Metallica productions, and that is the main thing listeners need to understand and even get past to appreciate this as a music album.
My favourites, after listening to the whole album twice, are Pumping Blood, Iced Honey, Cheat On Me and Junior Dad. The latter two take me back to Velvet Underground's creepy ambient, nearly static croon. I'd even dare to say that Junior Dad is my very favourite piece on this album. I like it even with "those stupid violins that go on for NINE F***ING MINUTES!". Just beautiful atmosphere, great lyrics.