Five Things That Could Go Wrong With the Metallica/Lou Reed Album
A lot of people, us included, were very surprised by the news that Metallica had joined forces with Lou Reed to record a brand new album together. After a few days' thought, it seems like this could be very cool (see our Five Things That Could Go Right With the Metallica/Lou Reed Album story), but then again, given the vast difference in ages and musical styles between the two, it could also be a bit of a clusterf---. So let's be negative for a minute, and look at the Five Things That Could Go Wrong With the Metallica/Lou Reed Album:
One of the best things about Metallica's music is the undeniable sense of energy and excitement they generate. It's hard not to wonder if Reed's deliberate, half-spoken vocal style, not to mention his highly intellectual and frequently bleak lyrics, will prove to be a bad match for them. Fans from either side of the collaboration may not be pleased with this (assumed) juxtaposition, especially across an entire album.
After wandering into hard rock and, well, whatever the heck 'St. Anger' was (lo-fi emo-metal?) over the last few albums, 2008's 'Death Magnetic' found Metallica making a solid return to their thrash-metal roots. That's what we imagine a large majority of their fans would like to see them do again, as soon as possible. Even though producer Rick Rubin swears Metallica are getting started on their own new studio album soon, a strong part of us just wishes they had already started.
Call us crazy, but if your band's name is Metallica, we think you should play metal. Granted, James Hetfield and company have crossed the line into hard rock territory with mixed but ultimately successful results in the past, for example on the two 'Load' albums. But when they go all the way into the classic rock realm, like on their cover of Bob Seger's 'Turn the Page,' well... let's just say it wouldn't make our Metallica career highlight reel.
So, if we're understanding this correctly, 69-year old Lou Reed, who never had the strongest voice even in his prime, is going to be laying vocals on top of one of the loudest, fastest bands in the world? With James Hetfield relegated to what, background duty? Yeah, that seems smart. While we're at it, how about the Red Sox put slugger David Ortiz on the bench and let manager Terry Francona take a few turns a bat?
Judging solely from recent interviews, and the way he and Metallica handled that whole Napster thing, would it be fair for us to say that maybe Lars Ulrich lost touch with the common man a little bit? Watching this clip, of him pompously lamenting an art sale that earned him millions of dollars, makes us a bit fearful about all the grandiose statements ("the melding of two rock 'n' roll legends") he'll make during the press tour for this album.