Lulu - Lou Reed

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 31
  2. Negative: 13 out of 31
  1. Oct 31, 2011
    Ultimately, Lulu is a brave experiment for both Reed and Metallica, but it's one that falters as often as it succeeds.
  2. Oct 31, 2011
    At no point does Lou Reed sound like he is singing with Metallica, and the same is true the other way around.
  3. Nov 1, 2011
    Audacious to the extreme, but exhaustingly tedious as a result, its few interesting ideas are stretched out beyond the point of utility and pounded into submission.
  4. Nov 11, 2011
    While nothing else here is quiet as astonishing, ["Junior Dad" is] a perfect ending to the most extraordinary, passionate and just plain brilliant record either participant has made for a long while. [Dec 2011, p.80]
  5. Dec 13, 2011
    Occasionally it's so insane that you can't help but be swept along with it. Mostly, however, it's so over the top the more likely reaction is to run it off and make sure you don't hear it again in a hurry. [Dec. 2011 p. 122]
  6. Jan 10, 2012
    The shock in this collaboration is that it sounds savagely natural. [Dec. 2011, p.93]
  7. Nov 1, 2011
    Things can get ponderous once Metallica start impatiently stomping, but often they turn Reed's pretensions into something muscular.
  8. 70
    You're unlikely to play this record at your next soirée but the breadth and ambition is to be applauded.
  9. Nov 1, 2011
    An utter wreck that curiously, miraculously, might have been great.
  10. Oct 27, 2011
    There's an insurmountable disjunction between the sound of Metallica doing their nut in the background and Reed's papery old voice rambling away upfront.
  11. 25
    The bulk of Lulu sounds like your dad's drunk friend reciting his self-penned erotica over a melting ReLoad cassette.
  12. 30
    Lulu is essentially a piece of shock art that's littered with vulgarity both lyrical and musical.
  13. Nov 1, 2011
    Lulu is a joyless mess, a grim, humorless record with no notion of when to say "when."
  14. Nov 1, 2011
    It's not an especially good album, but its failures are noble rather than ignoble-byproducts of ambition rather than hubris.
  15. Nov 7, 2011
    Lulu sinks to almost unimaginable lows.
  16. Oct 31, 2011
    Much advance word of Lou Reed and Metallica's excursion has been one of bewilderment and dismissal. It may well be, though, that in the fullness of time this is an album that is given the praise it deserves.
  17. Nov 4, 2011
    Up until Lulu, I didn't think it was possible to be both enamored and disgusted at the same time. Mind? Blown.
  18. Nov 2, 2011
    The godfather of avant-rock and the popular metal band don't click on any level.
  19. Oct 26, 2011
    Any message contained within Lulu is lost in the whirl of discordant guitar work, Reed's mutterings and the complete sense of abject disappointment that surrounds the entire album.
  20. Nov 11, 2011
    It's not truly terrible, but it does feel akin to a musical version of King Kong Vs. Godzilla, two monsters decimating everything in their path until there's nothing left, except the back catalogues.
  21. Oct 26, 2011
    One must reconcile with the absurd fact that Lulu exists before realizing how genuinely brilliant it is--when it's working.
  22. Nov 2, 2011
    It turns out that "Brandenburg Gate" is one of the only songs with an actual melody. The rest of Lulu is full of recycled, repetitive riffs; endless drones; more sex and violence than a slasher movie.
  23. Dec 8, 2011
    Metallica's unrelenting sledgehammer style works as the perfect complement to Reed's vision of compassionless love, with monolithic chords deployed with almost surgical precision wile he dissects relationships w of masochism and power. [Dec 2011, p.63]
  24. Oct 26, 2011
    Not only is Lulu the worst thing any of the players have been involved in, it's quite possibly a candidate for one of the worst albums ever made.
  25. 40
    It's not hard to see why both parties agreed to the alliance--Metallica gain artistic cachet, Reed gains an audience--but it is not an alliance that welcomes listeners with open arms.
  26. The whole thing comes off as either an expensive major label joke or nigh-impenetrable high art concept. Maybe both.
  27. Oct 31, 2011
    It's not a successful union: the songs are too close to aimless, unfinished jams, Reed sounds as if he's trying too hard to be controversial and at 95 minutes it's far too long.
  28. 60
    It takes some commitment, and maybe a little homework, to get the most out of the album.
  29. Nov 17, 2011
    LuLu is an album that will require many plays before the music contained within beings to make sense. [29 Oct 2011, p.50]
  30. Oct 27, 2011
    Reed's words dictate the musical structure. Often, Metallica simply fall in behind them in a free-form drone. Like much of Reed's late-period work, this is abstract and literary but even by his standards, Lulu is gruelling.
  31. Oct 31, 2011
    LuLu is a work that invites derision, an album that wallows in a tarpit of ugliness.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 159 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 58
  2. Negative: 40 out of 58
  1. Nov 1, 2011
    I've seen several comments online where bloggers say we "don't get it". Anyone who says this is avant garde music has little experience with that genre. Dangerous, abrasive and compelling are all hallmarks of avant rock. This is just an embarrassment made by two creatively bankrupt artists. Please stop your Metallica hero worship and hear this album for what it is: Crap. Full Review »
  2. WD2
    Nov 1, 2011
    The only saving grace for this album may be that it is not the worst album of 2011; Theory of a Deadman already clinched that honor back in the summer. But Lou Reed's nasally delivery just doesn't fit, it comes off as some uninspired old fart recording his voice in the living room while a metal riff plays in the background. As Allmusic wrote, this would have worked far better with an ambient band such as Sunn 0))) than with Metallica. Full Review »
  3. Mar 26, 2012
    I remember listening to this album for the first time and literally laughing. I thought it was a joke, I hope it is, because if Lou Reed and Metallica seriously thought this was a good album then they BOTH need to hang it up. Terrible lyrics, horrible vocals, flat melodies, uninspired riffs, just about every misfire in the book is present on Lulu. I am giving it a 1 because, as I mentioned, it made me laugh, and that has to count for something. Full Review »