Lou Reed and Metallica

I was driving home from work today and the DJ was all “I have here the new Lou Reed/Metallica song. I haven’t even listened to it yet. Let’s put it in and see how it goes.” He plays it. My face makes a grimace all on its own and the grimace stays there the whole song. The song ends. The DJ says. “Well, that was interesting.”

People, it invokes grimacing in otherwise predisposed to liking it people! Metallica fans are already apologizing for it!

What’s wrong with it? Where to start? I know the whole “Lou Reed sounds like he’s reading for Alistair Crowley’s more boring diaries” part is going to bug most people. But I have to say, I felt like I kind of got what they were going for. It doesn’t work because it’s so obvious that Reed probably recorded his part in Montenegro while Metallica recorded theirs in a crawlspace in Long Beach. Reed’s voice should be like an oil slick on the surface of the Devil’s piss. Instead, he sounds like he’s singing from a hot air balloon tour of Hell. Those metaphors may not make any sense until you attempt to listen to it

The two parts just don’t gel.

Second, I can’t tell if there’s just something wrong with the mix so it sounds like Ulrich is just playing his cymbal while occasionally hitting his snare, but it really kind of sounds like his drum part doesn’t fit with the guitars. And I think he’s too high up in the mix for as boring as his playing is. It’s literally clang-clang-clang-clang occasional bap bap bap bap.

Meanwhile, it sounds like the guitars are probably doing something scary and interesting, but they’re so far down.

I’m going to give it up for James Hetfield though. I have no idea what “I am the table” means, but he makes it sound terrifying. And, let’s be honest, it’s hard to imagine how “I am the table” could be terrifying. But at least, if you listen long enough to hear him grunting in a horrifying manner about being the table, you’ll also hear a rather interesting, but too short guitar solo.

So, I don’t think this would ever be a hit, by any means. But something has gone wrong in the production of this. And I don’t quite understand what. It looks like they brought in a couple of pros to help produce it. But it just doesn’t sound good. It could have been something cool that wouldn’t have been to everyone’s taste, but this single, ugh. It’s hard for me to imagine whose taste it could be to.

3 thoughts on “Lou Reed and Metallica

  1. To me it sounded like someone just described to each group what the other was going to do and hoped/thought it would work. It’s like a very bad mash-up, not a collaborative effort. And maybe the sound was done the same way? It’s just odd that anyone involved would let that out in public.

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