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Lou Reed & Metallica, ‘The View’ – Song Review

Metallica and Lou Reed Lulu
Warner Brothers

Lou Reed & Metallica have released the full-length version of the first song from their upcoming collaborative album ‘Lulu,’ and it doesn’t go very far in terms of explaining exactly how these two titans are going to fit together.

It’s admirable as heck for everyone involved to try such a different project. It’s just hard to see, based on this song, how this is a match that adds anything relevatory or even exciting to the music of either participant.

Throughout most of the song, Metallica deliver a solid, if slightly repetitive riff and Reed largely, well, talks over it. His minimalistic, half-spoken and off-kilter sense of melody works well with his own song arrangements and production style. However, here his dry and rather pretentiously arty vocals (repeating things in weird ways, as in, re-PEATing thing in weeird ways) seem to push his partners down in the mix to a harmful degree.

Things pick up when Metallica’s James Hetfield takes over on vocals; the energy and emotion in his delivery, unsurprisingly, brings out the best in his bandmates. (The lyrics don’t make a whole lot more sense in his hands, though, to be honest. “I am a table?”)

There’s a nice instrumental segment at the end that finds the band rocking out in a loose, seemingly off-the-cuff manner, much like their ‘Garage Days’ cover albums. Still, that largely sounds like Metallica on their own, the track ends without any common ground being found between them and Reed. Hopefully other songs on the album cast this partnership in a different light.

Listen to Lou Reed & Metallica, ‘The View’

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