This column will focus on those infamous records that blemish the careers of otherwise great artists. We will put the spotlight on the unloved, the shunned and frankly ridiculed albums all the while asking the question; is it really as bad as we remember it to be?
Metallica feat. Lou Reed – Lulu
Pretty much every day every single person on this planet comes up with a thought, an idea that is almost immediately scrapped to give place for something more thought out and better. Sadly however, sometimes these impulses are not scrapped and those instances gives birth to abominations that should have been aborted on the spot and cremated pronto.
When guitarist Kirk Hammet revealed in april of 2011 that the band was busy working on a project that was not a “100 % Metallica record” the rumour mill started working overtime and many fans became exited and hoped for collaborations with Slipknot, Rammstein or even wild cards such as Madonna and Lady Gaga. What they got was something completely different.
Mother of Merciful Muppets…
No, instead Metallicas huge fanbase got the announcement that the thrash metal titans were in studio together with rock icon Lou Reed, working on a concept album called “Lulu” based on two stageplays written by german playwright Frank Wedekind. The news were followed by confusion and quite some amusement as the reception of Metallicas experimental comeback album following James Hetfields stint in rehab, “St: Anger” was not exactly ravingly stellar, to be blunt.
What the collaboration came up with was another beast entirely and an album that will be infamous as long as there´s people around to hear it. And to set the scene I must point out that Metallica was my favorite band in high school and their music and lyrics got me through a lot of teenage angst.
I must admit that I´m having trouble describing this recording without resorting to foul language every second word. It is that bad. To hear one of the most important singers of my youth hoot and holler nonsense lyrics like a severly demented, tone deaf baboon hurts more than I imagined it would. Hetfield´s “singing” on “Cheat on Me” beggars belief.
And what about Lou Reed then? Well, it sounds like if Timmy and The Lords of The Underworld (From South Park) hired Stan´s senile grandfather to do the vocals. Except completely out of tune and devoid of all sense of rhytm whatsoever.
Before I continue my tirade I now ask myself; “are there any redeeming features at all on “Lulu”?
I like the drumsound and Lars Ulrich does ok behind the kit. He´s no Neil Peart but who is? The main riff of “Frustration” is kinda good, I guess. But here´s one of the main offenders of the album – the riffs are of the kind that they never should have left the rehearsal room and some of them are so patheticly sh*tty that they never should have been played or even concieved to begin with.
As a few of you dear readers know, I´m a sucker for long, epic songs. I love to be taken on a musical journey with twists and turns and dynamic up and downs, to revel in the happy feeling when that particular theme is repeated 16 minutes in and being transported to another dimension for a brief moment. Good music is a wonderful outlet where I trade the harsh reality of every day for musical Gordian knots and odysseys beyond human understanding and concepts. Here the longer songs seem like nothing but pure, unfiltered and eternal sonic torture
Music is freedom. Music gives you the liberty to soothe the soul, feed the imagination and when it is at its best you can for a moment trancend the flesh and glimpse eternity, all in your mind.
Music is spiritual. Music is magical. Music is a universal language and something to be cherished and loved.
Music is love and passion in all of its forms, in all of its expressions.
Except for “Lulu”, that is…
“Lulu” should be considered as a Crime Against Humanity and I barely know where to start when it comes to its failings. So instead of scrutinising every single track and therefore dodge the imminent threat of having a stroke midway through, I´ll focus on coming up with things I would rather do instead of having to listen to this turgid piece of excrement of a record one more time.
*I´d rather watch all of the Fast and Fastidious movies on a loop while violently punching myself in the groin with a sledgehammer.
*I´d rather peel the skin off of my entire body and take a relaxing bath in a tub filled to the brim with plutonium, badger vomit and Bumblef***ed Hot Sauce.
*I´d rather try to juggle with four tripple bladed chainsaws while standing in a category 5 tornado.
* I´d rather… Oh, good Lord… As I´m writing this the almost 20 minutes long “Junior Dad” comes on and I feel my liforce fading for every second. This aural nightmare is a goddamned vampire, FFS! The same chords are repeated for what feels like forever while Mr Reed tries to croon over the sensationally uninspired “music”. It is even worse than it sounds on paper.
For the love of Pete´s putrid piss, this must be THE worst album by an established artist/band I´ve ever had the misfortune of hearing. Almost 90 minutes of my life thrown away and I would like to speak to the manager about a refund.
This is also Metallicas worst selling album by so many miles it is almost funny. Last numbers I saw (this was a couple of years ago however) said something like 40 000 copies sold in the US which is a utter disaster by Metallicas standards. They are used to selling platinum for most releases. And this was not considered as worthy buying by hordes of fans around the globe. A wise decision on their behalf.
So there you have it. Lulu. The Donald Trump of records. Some parts of it is so bad that I actually feel personally offended so my conclusion is the following:
“Lulu” is an experiment gone so extremly sideways it feels like a bad practical joke and almost like the result of too much acid from a tainted stash and therefore concieved in a state of euphoric madness. It is offensively bad, a brash, bold but terribly executed arty farty, pretentious pile of sh*t!”.
Time to rinse out my senses with something beautiful, creative, well played and sung.
This was a terrible experience and I wouldn´t not recommend this to my worst enemy, not that I have one as far as I know. Or do I?
Peace, Vaccine and potatoes!/
Marty Methuselah Nygren
Band: Metallica feat Lou Reed
Release Date: 31 october 2011
Label: Warner Bros. – Vertigo
Duration: 87 (!) minutes
Place of origin: USA
Standout tracks: No. Just no, ok?