Hear the full collaboration album ahead of its release.
While the musicians involved have called the project a match made in heaven — Reed even said it was the best thing he ever did — it sounds like something was lost along the way. Several points throughout the album feel disjointed, like they took the instruments and vocals from two unrelated songs and randomly tracked them together without worrying about whether they really fit.
There are a few sublime moments — check out “Iced Honey” and “Mistress Dread” — and there’s no denying the talent and renown of the individual artists, but together something didn’t quite click. At several points Reed’s signature talk-singing style seems to go one way while Metallica’s thrashing guitars sprint off in their own direction, something that is especially apparent on “Pumping Blood” and “The View.” They seem to gel best together on slower tracks, like “Cheat on Me,” where Metallica holds back a little and actually works with Reed’s more laid-back sound rather than fighting it.
The whole idea of having two well-known artists with vastly different styles is interesting, and frequently has the potential to be something truly great. There’s no denying that this whole album was a risky move for everyone involved, and while it has some confusing moments, it’s not a complete failure. “Lulu” is definitely worth a listen, which you can do over at the official site. It will be out around the world on October 31 and in North America on November 1.