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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kind of XXI century's “Berlin” in a sense.
First of all, Lulu is not a Metallica's album, although the band contributed not only its committed playing, but also a good part of the music's credits (to a great extent improvised). Instead, this is rather another “difficult” Lou Reed's album. A set of songs on sick sex-lust-love-hate relationships, power, abuse, perversion, sleaze, degradation,...
Published 2 months ago by Adrian Gonbar

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Make your own mind up
I'm a huge fan of Metallica and always believe in making my own mind up about films/music. Only listened to Lulu once so far, but its pretty difficult to get into - it sounds like there's too much going on and in places, I think its just very weird. But I've never really heard much of Lou Reed's work so maybe real fans of his will appreciate it more.
Published 8 months ago by JulesB


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kind of XXI century's “Berlin” in a sense., 4 Oct 2014
This review is from: Lulu (Audio CD)
First of all, Lulu is not a Metallica's album, although the band contributed not only its committed playing, but also a good part of the music's credits (to a great extent improvised). Instead, this is rather another “difficult” Lou Reed's album. A set of songs on sick sex-lust-love-hate relationships, power, abuse, perversion, sleaze, degradation, self-destruction, inner struggle, guilt, bad fate, emptiness, solitude, desperation ... yet also not so evident touches of innocence and tenderness.
“Lulu” is no ordinary material. It is based on two plays written by the German dramatist Frank Wedekind: “Earth Spirit” (1895) and “Pandora's Box” (1904), known as “the Lulu plays”. These works had previously inspired Pabst's silent movie “Pandora's Box” (1929), and Alban Berg's opera “Lulu” (1937). Much more recently, dramatist and Reed's familiar collaborator Robert Wilson was working in a new adaptation of the original plays, and through Wilson's theater project Lou became interested in making some music based on Lulu.
Then, as Mark Deming (All Music Guide) notes, in this album “Lou Reed sings from the perspective of a young woman who is corrupted by her experiences with men, as well as some of the characters she meets”.
I'm using the verb “to sing” and the noun “song” in their broadest sense here. I'm not the one to discuss the exact meaning of those concepts (a task that exceeds my knowledge, yet I confess that I don't care much about it). But certainly most of the songs have no melody at all, no chorus, some of them not even a defined key (the only “straight” song being “Iced Honey”). Reed recites the lyrics with the mastery he has exhibited many times before, while Metallica, plus a strings quartet and some electronics played by Sarth Calhoun, set the sonic landscape. This sonic landscape varies from heavy metal riffs, to free-jazz like noise to ambient music passages (the most notable of the latter being the final 10 minutes of the heartrending “Junior Dad”, which closes the album).
Thus, Lulu will infuriate both Metallica fans expecting a new thrash metal delivery with “guest vocalist” Lou Reed as well as Lou Reed fans expecting a more “classic” Reed's set of songs (whatever that means). The big picture about people's tastes and perceptions is hugely complex, but I guess there will always exist extreme reactions from people who tend to call pretentious the slightest sign of intellectual elaboration and/or cultural allusion, as well as people who tend to consider vulgar, passé, primitive and childish any display of ballsy heavy metal riffs. In short, in the matter at hand, a heavy metal “purist” vs. hypster/pseudy/snob war nobody wins. Some people think this album is a troll plotted by two famous names who had run out of inspiration and just wanted to attract attention, cash in, and so on. On the contrary I think this album is the result of a honest and courageous experiment they didn't need to do for the sake of fame and money, and being aware of the fact that not all of the “fans” were going to be obliged to like it. Sometimes the artists we love mature faster than us, or at least faster than we would like, and they leave behind some ideas and some ways we relate to our fondest youthful feelings and our perception of authenticity. You can stick forever with Ride the Lightning and/or Transformer, and that's a respectable choice, but you could also follow the evolution of your beloved artists trying to understand and relate the links which lead from one work to another, and so maybe enjoying all, or most of them.
The album requires to be approached without preconceptions, good disposition and a bit of patience: I estimate that at least three spins, 87 minutes each, are needed to begin to appreciate its merits, since Lulu is definitely a grower.
Does this experiment work ? Most of the time it does, despite there are sparse moments where the synergy fails, especially in the song Little Dog, where I feel Metallica are completely lost, seemingly not knowing what to do (a more jazz trained drummer, with more subtletly, dynamics and fresher ideas, would have greatly fit in this song, not to say, just dreaming, a guitar player like Robert Fripp).
But despite its minor flaws, this album, not being as much a milestone work as Berlin was, shares with it the fate of being a risky, compelling and strong, but difficult work, with a similar shocking, hard to assimilate material, which has been mostly not well received by critics and audience. However I'm pretty sure that, like it happened to Berlin, Lulu will become more appreciated as time passes by.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What's not to like?, 13 Jan 2014
This review is from: Lulu (Audio CD)
I was a huge Metallica fan in the mid-80s Ride the lightning/Master of puppets era. I did buy 'Justice' and 'Black' but had drifted away into other things by then, to be honest and didn't pay them that much attention. Haven't heard anything by them since.
This, though, is immense and deserves close attention.
Track 1 Brandenburg Gate got my immediate attention, from the first few urgently strummed acoustic chords and Reed's spoken lyrics, but the album gets much better from there on.
2. The View features an immensely heavy riff, reminiscent of early Black Sabbath to my ears. Surely this must satisfy any metal fan and the purchase price was worth it for this song alone?
3. Pumping Blood is a bit variable. A simple riff with a wonderful whining lead guitar and Lou Reed screaming all through it but doesn't seem to be going anywhere really. With a minute to go it suddenly explodes into classic early 80s thrash. Great.
4. Mistress Dread starts off with what can only be described as a manic, breathless, relentless, thrash assault. Lou is speaking something but quite honestly who cares? It just adds to the mix. Towards the end the riffing dies down then starts again several times. Quite superb.
5. Iced Honey starts off quite poorly - just a real dirge of a plodding riff. Doesn't really go anywhere. Fairly forgettable and arguably the worst track on the album.
5. Cheat On Me slows things down with a lovely quiet intro and Lou repeating 'Why do you cheat on me?' over the top. Gradually the piece picks up pace and volume and turns into a really classy, mature piece of hard rock. Excellent.
6. Frustration. Awesome. A massive riff that my speakers can barely handle. Just a really heavy song, again with obvious Black Sabbath influences. The song pauses at times for Reed to deliver some dark poetry and the tension is almost unbearable, like the band are straining to be let loose before reintroducing the riff again. Awesome.
7. Little Dog provides a nice contrast to the heaviness of Frustration with a picked and strummed acoustic guitar and that wonderful winding/ whining drone of lead guitar in the background again. Excellent.
9. Dragon. Another slightly off-kilter track (the droning lead appears again, which is great). After a while what I would describe as the classic Metallica sound features, with those almost squeeky-clean chugging guitar riffs that they used to have.
10. Junior Dad. For me the clear standout track on the album. Reed singing softly over a beautiful melody for the first 10-11 minutes followed by 8-9 minutes of ambient style strings reminiscent of early Anathaema to my ears. Music for driving through the mountains at dusk. Just achingly beautiful.

Overall, a really interesting collection of edgy songs. Interesting to note the polarity of views on this. People seem to either love it or hate it, with relatively few people who are indifferent and giving 2-3 stars. You simply cannot be indifferent to art. Great art should force you to actually make a decision, one way or the other.
Initially I gave this a five but changed it, the reason being that I felt I had to reserve that rating for the truly exceptional, I.e. the top 5 records I've heard in my life, but nevertheless probably the most exciting record I've heard in over a decade. I'll probably come back and change to to 5 again in a couple of months. I read other reviewers saying bin this and listen to 'Master' again. But we can't simply play old stuff over and over again.
Metallica's best album anyone? To me this sounds like a band at or close to the peak of their powers, just relaxed and enjoying themselves. Reed's rich voice just blends in perfectly. I can't help feeling that 20 years from now critics will return to this and start writing how it was a classic and much underrated release.
Simply magnificent..
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not straightforward casual listening, 8 Nov 2011
By 
Majanen Juhani (Helsinki, Finland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Divided Opinion, 23 May 2014
By 
Red Mosquito (Horton Bank Top) - See all my reviews
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The great thing about controversial art is that it divides opinion and fans often have an expectation of their favourite musicians prior to that anticipated new release. I'm not a fan of Lou Reed or Metallica and had no expectations regarding the content of Lulu. I love it but it took a while. Lou doesn't sing but delivers a well structured spoken narrative throughout with Metallica's menacing background rumble. Many Metallica fans might disagree but careful scrutiny reveals some might fine Metallic riffs and Lars Ulrich's drumming is excellent, just one fine element of a beautifully produced/ mixed album. There are other elements that glue the experience. Great contributions from Sarth Calhoun - Electronics, Megan Gould - Violin, Ron Lawrence - Viola and Marika Hughes - Cello. If you haven't heard it you can buy a new copy for same price as a large latte and the fix might last longer than 20 minutes...............might!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Make your own mind up, 8 April 2014
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This review is from: Lulu (Audio CD)
I'm a huge fan of Metallica and always believe in making my own mind up about films/music. Only listened to Lulu once so far, but its pretty difficult to get into - it sounds like there's too much going on and in places, I think its just very weird. But I've never really heard much of Lou Reed's work so maybe real fans of his will appreciate it more.
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3.0 out of 5 stars better than legend suggested.., 2 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Lulu (Audio CD)
In all honesty this was far better than I expected..I have waited for the dust to settle on this release and now that it's at a price I was willing to risk paying well...I bought it.
In honesty this is far from being the best metallica release and although I don't have too much the bits I have suggest this may not be Lou Reeds finest neither.
That said there's much to like I like Reeds vocal on this a kind of ragged low baritone that spits out words and the only real problem I have with the release is it maybe doesn't deliver its full potential.
The best stuff on this release to my ears was found on the second CD ,despite enjoying metallica I found the second CD less like them eschewing a traditional rock sound and created a more ambient soundscape which suited the material more in my opinion,In fact listening to the second CD made me wonder how much better this could have been if say Earth had been the collaborative party.
Part of the problem I think is Metallica have a established sound which is difficult for them to break from, they have been truly innovative through their career and so have a great scope of sound however this CD fails to reflect this.
There is a emphasis on a traditional rock sound on many of the tracks which I think holds this back..there are flashes of brilliance mind you and it's not half as bad as it's been made out to be.
Fair dues to Metallica too for at least trying this..it was always going to be a hard sell.
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42 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lou Reed and Metallica - The odd couple, 24 Nov 2011
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Lulu (Audio CD)
Honestly its not for the want of trying, three straight listens in a row (each 87 minutes passed very slowly), a copy in the car and headphones. Clearly there are many Amazon reviewers out there who love this and respect for that. But in this humble abode this CD is in real danger of becoming the most expensive coffee coaster of modern times. In 1967 Lou Reed wrote lines which stunned Andy Warhol and which energised thousands of aspiring musicians to to start bands. Remember "Shiny, shiny, shiny boots of leather/Whiplash girlchild in the dark/Comes in bells, your servant, don't forsake him/Strike, dear mistress, and cure his heart"? Can this be the same poet who today writes "I'm a woman who likes men, a little dog with a puny body and tiny dick, I AM A TABLE".

For the record Metallica are genius, their Black Album should be worshipped at the shrine of rock music. Lou Reeds career equally is an exemplar of uncompromising brilliance with the occasional large misstep but honestly "Metal Machine Music" is better than Lulu. In the last analysis this whole bloated mess collapses in on itself in the 19 minute finale of the truly horrible "Junior Dad" where you wish Nicolas Parsons would intervene and just shout "repetition". One positive note emerges from "Lulu" namely that Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead must now relinquish their long held title of the worst collaboration in rock music history.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It rocks., 10 Jan 2012
This review is from: Lulu (Audio CD)
In a weird way Lulu is a good reminder of what rock actually is. This record is completely devoid of "good" taste. It thrashes and chugs and shouts. A lot of Metallica fans are adamant that it also sucks. A lot of Lou Reed fans are equally adamant that it's an embarrassment. Throw in various talking heads from late night arts review shows and the message is clear. Don't try anything different, make records for niche markets, be that for metal fans or the coffee table crowd and above all show some dignity.
What I like about this record is what a lot of people dislike about it. Reed's voice is too frail for Metallica's huge crunch. The result is that it sounds unstable, loose, like Metallica just jamming some riffs. You can hear them as an unpolished honest to god band, rather than as a recording unit or stadium act. In other words, to me at least, it rocks in the truest sense of the word. Lou's voice just sits on top, croaking away lyrics that work with the unholy maelstrom the band kicks up. Ultimately, it's the part of Metallica that isn't a corporate entity, the part of the band that was influenced by hardcore punk and doesn't care about its reputation. Contrary to popular misconception, I also think Lulu is every bit as much, if not more, Metallica as it is Lou Reed. Anyway, I think it rocks.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars lou reed is a genius, 6 Nov 2011
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im not sure what deimos is and quite frankly based on their sad review i dont care. this is an amazing album. with each listen it gets better. brandenburg gate is a perfect opener then we have the view. metallica complament reeds vocals and their style of play inhances the beauty of lous writting. i love iced honey. its classic lou lyrics. its sad laments. little dog is fab but talk about saving the best for last. junior dad is genius. 20 minutes of beauty. 20 minutes of pain. this is one collaboration like the orb and dave gilmour that perfectly works. not so sure about the price though sadly. id say buy it but only if you must. the ordinary version is good enough for me.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You've Made Your Mind Up Already So May As Well Not Read, 16 Sep 2012
This review is from: Lulu (Audio CD)
About ten years ago my girlfriend left me and "And your ******* depressing Lou Reed!" was one of her final messages.
In reference to me playing "Berlin" and "Songs For Drella" once too often. So in that context, it's a good job she wasn't around when I got into "Lulu"...
There clearly isn't going to be stadium shows of Lou Reed & Metallica playing this album. But I think it could sell out on smaller venues. It wouldn't be a phonebox. It's a pity people some people not on Amazon, are basing it on the Later... With Jools Holland performance of "Iced Honey" as the production on the album has it perfectly balanced that doesn't get lost in translation from a live television feed. You only have the golden rule of "No retakes, mistakes are perfect!" to thank for The View not having a re-recorded vocal.
I have met other people who like it. Most people either go quiet or say they've never heard Lulu, but I have met a few. They happen to be poets. If you've ever gone to an Open Floor/Mic and loved it then you can't hate Lulu as much as people who can't stand Open Floor/Mic nights seem to.
I'm going to buy the guitar tab book of this album. And five minutes into Junior Dad, I didn't want the album to end. And then it didn't.
Lulu is 5 stars for me. And if Lou and Metallica don't retire, then I hope their next album is full of rage, hurt and spite at the response to this album. I suppose I'd have to see the actual play.
The only way this album could be improved would be Lou and the band performing this album to an empty arena.
We are a minority, but history will show us we were right all along by giving Lulu five stars.
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Lulu by Metallica (Audio CD - 2011)
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