Friday, December 2, 2011

Lou and Lulu

I've got a couple of things I hope to be writing about in the next few days but after hearing the Lou Reed - Metallica opus, Lulu, for the first time, I had to write some quick comments.  The consensus I've seen about this CD online is that it isn't very good. Chuck Klosterman, a writer of some renown, even went so far as call it "totally unlistenable".  As the WWE's Miz would say "Really? REALLY?".

Most of the opinions I read seemed more knowledgeable about Metallica than Reed and were disappointed that Metallica had yet again failed to match their Master Of Puppets heights and were being subservient to an "elderly misanthrope" in Klosterman's words. Well, yes, this is essentially Metallica serving as Reed's backing band and that's perfectly fine with me.

Listening to all the talk I put this on expecting to hear Metal Machine Music 2.  Instead I was treated to Mr. Reed at his pissed-off, profane best, spitting out lyrics over a violent musical backdrop and a lot of musical variety, involving strings and acoustic guitars as well as Hetfield & Company's sturm und drang. Anyone surprised by this stuff has heard very little Lou.  There are echoes of "Sister Ray", Berlin, Street Hassle, Ecstasy and other classics here.  On first hearing it does fade a little in the late going as some tracks on the second CD have more plain riffing than melody but the work ends with a flourish on "Junior Dad", one of Lou's haunting string-laden, open-hearted ballads in the mold of "Sad Song" and "Street Hassle".  If this is unlistenable to some youngbloods, God forbid they ever run into Peter Brotzmann or Merzbow.  For my money it's heartening to know that the "elderly" Mr. Reed is still spitting blood, bile and jism with gale force.

No comments: