Lulu - Lou Reed
User Score
2.0

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 159 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 159

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  1. Nov 1, 2011
    0
    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.
  2. WD2
    Nov 1, 2011
    4
    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. Expand
  3. Nov 1, 2011
    0
    If this album was listened to without knowing who the artists were you would think it was a 4th rate garage band made up of 17 year old high school students spewing forth really bad teenage poetry!
    I am all for trying new things and pushing the boundaries but sometimes you have to know when to pull back and review your art objectively.....this i'm afraid is just an exercise in self
    indulgent narcissism by musicians who are obviously bored.....probably shouldn't have been released because i can only see it hurting their brand! Expand
  4. Mar 26, 2012
    1
    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. Expand
  5. Nov 1, 2011
    8
    As I've gotten older I've found my tastes and .. acceptance of things outside my comfort zone (music, philosophy, etc) growing as my views of the world in which we live change. The key to getting enjoyment (or understanding?) out of Lulu, for me, is to accept that I have to listen to it on it's own terms. Listening to it as a Metallica fan, a metal fan, a music fan, will lead to listening to something that on the face may seem unlistenable. My impression of this album has grown considerably since first listen. Last night was the first time I actually sat down, and listened to it cover to cover. Honestly, I was kind of dreading its darkness and it felt like I had to do a homework assignment. So, I grabbed my best headphones, and set into it. I think a key thing I did was I pulled up the lyrics to each song online as I listened and followed closely along. I think that really helped put me into the music. They've always said the lyrics are the key, the music augmentation and manifestation of the feeling of those lyrics. Lyrics aren't really the correct term, it's more spoken word poetry than anything. As far as Lou's voice: As one review I read put it, it's like "an oil slick sitting on top of an ocean of metal". I agree, I think the discordance is all a part of the art. This is supposed to be uncomfortable, a difficult listen, I think that's a part of it. Once you get acclimated to the voice, and really listen, word for word, song to song, there is true dark art there. Eventually you become a victim of the flow of the moment, as Lou and Metallica became in the 10 days they put this together. If you've ever been in an emotionally violent, destructive relationship, or loved someone who took everything you could give, and returned only their emptiness back to you: this can make you identify with it to an extent. To listen with any expectation from Metallica's past or future is a mistake. Lulu is outside of that, and to listen influenced by those expectations, you won't appreciate it. You'll probably hate it. Lou Reed has been interested for some time with expanding narrative work to build music around it and create kind of a literary fusion of long form story and music. Lulu is exploring that. It's as much narrative as it is music, if not more. The words he brought in to this project are brilliant. They're real. They paint a devastating portrait of two amoral and destructive people. They are at the darkest end of the spectrum of humanity. If you can dive down into your own emotional blackness without losing your equilibrium and knowing when to come back up to draw breath, you can appreciate this fully, I think. Provocative art always has a way of polarizing people to either love or hate it. Lulu is not a metal album, not just a story, but it's own fusion of provocative, violent art. It is brilliant to that end. People complain about a lack of musicality, and that only means you cite a lack of musicality within your own comfort zones and constricted definitions of what musicality can mean. You have to allow yourself to experience this on it's own terms. Not on your terms. I'm not saying you need to remove subjectivity and just blindly accept it. But listen to it on it's terms, if you can, and then judge it. If you're unable or unwilling to listen that way, with more than just your ears and expectations, then you shouldn't judge it either. You should just ignore its existence. Lou Reed and Metallica are both artists that have earned the privilege of doing things on their own terms, and it's a sign of respect to view their collaborative art on those terms. You can then choose to accept or reject it. I happen to accept it, and I'll take from it what I can. This will probably get me more into avante-garde type music and further my own horizons of music and understanding, and to me that's a beautiful thing. I accept the terms. Thanks for reading. Expand
  6. Nov 1, 2011
    0
    Why Lou? Why would you choose to work with Metallica? I could think of 100 better artists you could have chosen to work with. This is just a terrible album on all accounts. Fans of both Lou Reed and Metallica need to be honest with themselves and admit that NEITHER artist is relevant anymore. They are not changing the music scene or doing anything of significance. They are OLD artist trying desperately to change the landscape of music like they did earlier in their careers. I have no problem saying I love a particular artist for the influence they originally had, but that I hate their current desperate pretentious career. Collapse
  7. Nov 1, 2011
    0
    to give it a 0 is to say it hasn't any artistic merit, which it has. still, it hasn't got enough to score a 1. listen to it as a Metallica fan, a Reed fan, or not a fan at all, everything in this album sucks the same
  8. Nov 1, 2011
    0
    The worst thing is that Metallica can pull the whole 'it's different so THAT'S why people don't like it' thing yet again. I understand wanting to do something different musically. But the band also needs to understand that sometimes doing something different means that it can still suck. And suck this album does. Lou Reed and Metallica don't match. I don't care how poetic or progressive or deep this album is. In the end, it's about the music. And the music tends to sound stupendously bad. Expand
  9. Nov 3, 2011
    1
    Aweful. Just absolute tripe from start to finish. Now, I understand that some artists like to try and experiment every now and then and end up with remarkable results. But the only think that's remarkable about this album is just how unlistenable it is. Repetitive riffs, moronic lyrics and non-existant progression simply proves that spaghetti and chocolate just dosen't mix.
  10. Vic
    Nov 14, 2011
    0
    The worst piece of **** I've ever heard! Sometimes Metallica (the best band in the world) surprises me with its stupidity! They don't think rationally that's for sure!
  11. Dec 5, 2011
    2
    I dont know what to say of this album. Lou Reed and Metallica, separately, are both awesome. But this album left me confused. The music is without doubt very good. But the singing part (or the speaking part actually) is what i dont get. It confuses me.. Creeps Me out. I tried to expand my taste in music and hear this album but its not what i want!
  12. Nov 2, 2011
    0
    Metallica, what happened? The snare drum experiment in the st anger now this?! mediocre would give credit to this garbage.
    the brand and name of both lou reed and metallica and everyone involved will be forever scarred.
  13. Nov 6, 2011
    4
    Honestly, it's not as horrible as people make it out to be. I feel like the user score has been artificially deflated thanks to the scores of disappointed Metallica/Lou Reed fans. Don't get me wrong, it's an aggressively taxing listen, but if you make an effort to pay attention to the story, and give the album a fair chance, you'll find it does have some redeeming qualities. That said, there is a major disjunction between Lou's vocals and Metallica's instrumentals, that could have been repaired with some studio workshopping. This album was made quickly and it shows. Expand
  14. Nov 8, 2011
    10
    Metallica and Lou Reed have created in this album a complete masterpiece destined to become a cult album. I'm not saying this is the best album ever, but sure one of the greatest CDs in the last 5 years. The main reason is because they have created something new mixing their own styles in a conceptual way. Lulu is not only an album, it's something more and it's hard to explain it. Is when yo have listened all the CD, read its lyrics and watched all the art-work when you realize it's something special. Talking about Lulu's music, I think is awesome, specially Metallica's work, that explores new kinds of music with a great sensibility. It's true that in the beginning Lou's voice can seem strange in that melodies, but listening to it you see that this is a part of his poetry, of the sense of Lulu.
    Finally I want to say that the main problem for me is that this album should have been far away from mainstream and be a little work, but nothing that is done by Metallica nowadays will go unnoticed for their main audience, and specially his "purists" and detractors fans. But no matter what they say. Lulu is a GREAT album.
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  15. Nov 12, 2011
    0
    one of the most disgusting things i have ever encountered in my life, bad riffs, bad vocals, lyrics "appears" to be sophisticated while they are mostly crap. definitely not for Metallica fans, or music fans i general. the only good thing about this is last couple of minutes in "The View" where James Insists that HE IS A TABLE, works every time i feel down and want to have a good laugh.
  16. Nov 1, 2011
    1
    I gave this rating a star because Metallica does have some good riffs in here, some of them with a bit of variety/progression could make good Metallica songs. The issue here is Lou Reed ruining any potential here. I like a lot of Lou Reed solo work (Blue Mask, Transformer, Coney Island Baby) but his lyrics here are awful, to the point that they distract from any musical flow. Worse yet, his "singing" has no consistent pattern, melody, nothing of redeeming value. This was a struggle to get through, a total vanity project for Reed, maybe wanting to put out a metal machine music for the new decade. It's funny, because Reed has now been responsible for some of the best works of rock/pop music with Velvet Underground, and now the worst as well. Metallica does not help matters here, the music is too repetitive to be enjoyable. If they could work with a stronger producer like Danger Mouse or Rick Rubin, they could do something interesting again. Ever since Bob Rock reared his ugly head into their careers, they've gone downhill. Expand
  17. Nov 16, 2011
    0
    After first hearing some of this album some months ago, I first thought that it was weak, not fitting and generally painful to listen to. Despite this, I decided to try out the whole album regardless. And the end result was just as bad as my prior opinion. The main problem with the album is that Lou Reed does not go with Metallica in any way. It's like a 12-year-old kid mish-mashing two songs together and calling it a 'remix'. As much as I don't like saying this, this is an album deserving of it's criticism. Metallica fans won't like it, Lou Reed fans won't like it and anyone with the gift of ears won't like it either. Expand
  18. Dec 18, 2011
    1
    Unintentionally kitsch, laughably awful, and more than just a little misguided; I'm honestly in shock that album was allowed to exist. In a normal review I might detail each track one by one, but in this case that is very unnecessary. Simply put, Lulu is Lou Reed reading pretentious poetry over some of the most forgettable music Metallica has crafted. Attempting something new should be applauded, however, I hope all parties involved are embarrassed with this effort and never produce anything like it again. Expand
  19. Nov 2, 2011
    3
    Soo i bought this album being a long time fan of Metallica. Do not make that mistake! I haven't really had much Lou Reed experience but im sure he was better off on his own, same with Metallica. The whole album feels like poetry being read to you with some guys playing metal in the background. It just doesn't work. Maybe i didnt give this enough time to sink in, but i only listened halfway through the album before i had to shut it off. It was that bad. Expand
  20. Nov 3, 2011
    3
    The emperor has no clothes. There are people who want to like this because they think it's "avant-garde", or "artistic", or "challenging". I don't criticise Lou Reed or Metallica for attempting this project, but I think they failed quite badly. There are many problems with this album, but perhaps the most fundamental is the general lack of connection between Reed's vocals and Metallica's backing music, something that, in combination with the monotone delivery, robs the lyrical storyline of any possible impact (not that some of the lyrics aren't downright laughable in their own right) and the entire album of any coherence.

    Many of the songs are excessively long, stretched out with mindless repetition or pointlessly tacked on sections. Incidentally, there's absolutely no justification for the length of the album, it could have only been improved by trimming it to fit on a single CD. The heavy parts which some fellow-Metallica fans probably enjoy are often... just there... sounding ok for what they are, but contributing little. (Who thought it was a good idea to take the already average speed/thrash riff of Mistress Dread and repeat it for 5+ monotonous minutes? Incredible).

    This could have been an outstanding project. All it needed was a different singer (one able to convey the twisted emotions and inner workings of the character rather than drone on witlessly, relying on the tired shock value of lyrics about vulvas, tampons and various forms of degradation to create any impact) and a different band (one able to consistently display the subtlety and creativity required to make the soundtrack fit the storyline).

    I was tempted to give it less than 3, as when I think of this project as a whole, it's pretty dire. But there are some good moments, and even a few songs that come close to working, though spoiled to some extent by the failings I've mentioned.
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  21. Nov 5, 2011
    8
    Yep, I fully agree with JeffWrubel. Can't say it better than he did. The only reason I registered at Metacritic is to support his view.
    LISTEN to the CD and read the lyrics with your headphone on. Lulu in my opinion is a good symbiosis of the dark voice of Lou (which I have liked ever since Velvet Underground) and Metallica (that I didn't like that much). Perhaps I am gonna try and listen
    to Metallica as well, now that I am out of my comfort zone!
    That's what music is all about: enjoying and bringing you further down the road. You're right: I'm older as well, though Lou is a bit older.
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  22. Nov 7, 2011
    0
    Worst album in the world. Metallica has been a great band since the 80's but since then it seems like it's been losing their magic to make music. What happened to Metallica?
  23. Nov 8, 2011
    2
    I laughed at times. Specifically at Reed's vocal efforts. He sounds like a confused old man without any muscial abilities.

    Summary: Metallica wasted riffs on this album. Lou Reed's poetry would be better off in text form.
  24. Nov 10, 2011
    0
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, what a joke for an album, the sound on this album does not work or fit together at all.
    Sounds like Metallica were keen to make an album that would be remember through time. But they have grabbed Lou Reed who isnt a very successful singer with music that isnt appealing to the mainstream market or metallica fans and try and failed very very badly, more dissapointing the st
    anger lol. Expand
  25. Nov 16, 2011
    0
    Listening to this record is like witnessing your middle-aged parents performing sexual act for an hour. They certainly enjoy it themselves, and you respect them both, but that performance is not intended for anyone else to see. You wish you never saw it and want to flush the scene from your memory. There's something unnatural in that from your perspective.

    I get it - it's not 100%
    Metallica album, but who are you kidding ? If not for Metallica fans, nobody would pay attention to this dreck. I couldn't care less about Lou Reed, but I am not sure if I can take Metallica seriously after this. Expand
  26. Dec 10, 2011
    0
    Lou Reed SUCKS!!! You think i'll buy it?? Hell NO! I would just download it and hear em all and delete it eventually! It sucks!! F#CK THAT! I know its a collaboration album.. Well it sucks! and TH1RT3EN was like 10 times better! And i Just hope their new album like they promised will be better and also better than Death Magnetic.. Possible similiarly to their 80s album! I JUST HOPE!!! And their fans will keep in touch with Metallica back like before back in the 80s! The "THRASHING" stops right after The Black Album! Load was Nonsence! ReLoad was ReNonsence! St. Anger... hmm.. The most worst album ever heard by the Heavy Metal Legends! As for Death Magnetic.. I Like it! Cause it kinda bring back their rocking! But could be better! What bothers me the most is that James voice is dead.. :( But well He's old now.. But if you look at Bruce Dickinson.. He's voice just stays the same! Well why can't James?!?!?! I just hope! I JUST HOPE! that their next album would bring back to the 80s! I really want that alot! Come on! We also wants this guy back....... JASON NEWSTED!!!! What i'm trying to say is that we all WANT THE OLD METALLICA FOR GOD SAKE!! Like the time when they were in Moscow (1991)!! That really blows me away! 100 over 100!!! I still love Metallica!! That is because they mae songs that reminds me of the memories you know! m/ Metallica m/ LULU'S CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Expand
  27. Dec 18, 2011
    0
    Once I heard the first line from the first song, which was "I would cut my legs and **** off", I immediately turned it off! Worst collaboration in the history of rock! Rob Zombie and Lionel Richie can breathe a sigh of relief! Like come on, "I'm Am the Table" What the hell does that mean??? And no I would not like "Iced Honey" its disgusting!!!
  28. Dec 30, 2011
    0
    NO METALLICA NO NO NO YOU WERE THE BEST METAL BAND IN THE WORLD AND YOU WENT AND RELEASED PURE GARBAGE LIKE THIS! LOU REED DOESN'T EVEN SINGS HE TALKS AND COMPLAINS LIKE AN OLD MAN!
  29. Jun 20, 2012
    5
    Personally, the instruments sound awesome (because it's Metallica). They always sound good. It's the singing/talking that drives me wild. I mean, it's ok, but it just gets creepy after you listen to it for a while. So basically, the 5 comes from the Metallica part of the album, where as the other 5 that aren't there come from the Lou Reed part of the album.
  30. Nov 2, 2011
    1
    This album have some great riffs, but they are overexploided. For example, Junior Dad is composed basically with 1 riff. 19 minutes for 1 riff is very bad. Lou Reed voice sucks, and sometimes just destroy the songs. For example, the Pumping Blood intro. It's a horrible album, Lou Reed and Metallica doesn't combine, so please don't try to do more albums together. Worst album in Metallica's History.
Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 31
  2. Negative: 13 out of 31
  1. Jan 10, 2012
    80
    The shock in this collaboration is that it sounds savagely natural. [Dec. 2011, p.93]
  2. Dec 13, 2011
    40
    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]
  3. Dec 8, 2011
    80
    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]