When I found out a couple of weeks ago that Metallica and Lou Reed were collaborating for an album, my reaction was akin to this:
I mean, it sounds like an SNL parody, doesn’t it? A serious artiste reading poetry over hard rock/metal? I really like Metallica; I can’t say that I am very knowledgeable of the Velvet Underground’s catalog, but I’ve liked what I’ve heard. But those two? Together? For real?
It didn’t take long for me to hear the overwhelmingly negative hype surrounding the album. Not that I’m surprised – it’s one of those artistic attempts that you know will fail even before it’s released, like Madonna trying to act or Kim Kardashian’s single (it’s just as bad as you think it is). Again, I like Metallica, but Lou Reed? I read an interview of his a couple of months ago, and I came away with the impression that he is a pretentious dick. His ego could afford to be taken down a notch. Or twenty.
The video for their first single, “The View,” is directed by Darren Aronofsky. So just in case you didn’t get it, they mean SERIOUS BUSINESS YOU GUYS:
Knowing how maligned this record already is, I tried to watch this video without letting the critical response bias my opinion. It’s hard to do. I mean, I try not to let the critical masses affect my enjoyment of artistic media; that’s why A Night at the Roxbury is one of my favorite movies, and I still loved The Da Vinci Code even though it was uncool to. But still, it’s sometimes difficult not to let the bias affect your judgment. It’s not like I’m going to pop in a Gigli DVD and expect to love it.
That being said…yeah, no. This doesn’t work. I definitely give props to Metallica and Lou Reed for trying something artistically interesting and creative, but this is not a song I’d be willing to listen to more than once. I actually like the music; I just think the addition of Lou Reed ruins it.
And you know what? I don’t think it’s as godawful as critics are saying it is. Granted, I haven’t heard the entire album, but to deem it the worst album ever made seems a little harsh. There are many other albums out there that could take that title – for starters, doesn’t the idea of Reed’s Metal Machine Music seem a lot worse? (From the three minutes I have heard of it – oh God, yes).