Metallica and Lou Reed's Lulu is now available online to listen to, and it's truly a horse of a different color. Right off the bat you're met with Lou Reed wailing "I'm just a small town girl" for four minutes on "Brandenburg Gate" (and later on "Mistress Dread": "I'm a woman who likes men"), followed by Metallica slogging along in the background behind the drunken ramblings of "The View". It's an album that takes a toll on the listener, requiring both mental and musical fortitude to get through, with some tracks clocking in at eight, eleven, and nineteen- yes, nineteen- minutes. Supposedly based on the works of playwright Frank Wedekind, the teaser video that was released a few weeks ago promised a raging album full of blood, violence, betrayal, lust, greed, etc., but mostly blood. It's fun to try and count how many times Reed says "pump" and "blood" on the seven minute track called, you guessed it, "Pumping Blood".
Reed spends the large majority of the album trying to meet Metallica halfway, where it should really be the other way around. Aside from "Iced Honey", which benefits from a slower tempo, smoother riffs, and Reed giving his metal growl a rest, this is a wreck you can't look away from, an experiment that's certainly interesting, but never exactly good. Just exhausting. Listen to what Hitler had to say about the album above, and click over to Lulu to begin your odyssey.
UPDATE: For an extremely well-thought out argument both for and against Lulu, take a gander at Chuck Klosterman's review over at Grantland.