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

Lulu Album Cover
Universal / Warner Bros.

After months of speculation and intrigue, Metallica and Lou Reed have released the first full song from their upcoming joint album, ‘Lulu,’ which is due out Nov. 1. The tune, ‘The View,’ sounds a lot like … Metallica and Lou Reed.

As much as it sounds like a combination of the two, it may in fact alienate fans of both acts. ‘The View’ is not an easy listen by any means. Reed’s talk-sing vocals may be hard to digest for metal fans, while Metallica’s heavy music may prove too uneasy for fans of Reed’s Velvet Underground catalog and more melodic solo material.

Then again, anyone expecting a radio-friendly tune hasn’t been reading the description of this joint album. Reed’s been releasing experimental music for years, and this album is no exception. It’s based on plays of German expressionist Frank Wedekind that tell the story of a young abused dancer’s life.

Reed’s lyrics are delivered as a monologue of sorts, both in their delivery and their content: “I am the truth / The beauty / That causes you to cross your sacred boundaries.”

It’s not until two minutes into the song that we hear Metallica frontman James Hetfield chime in with: “I am the root / I am the progress / I’m the aggressor / I am the tablet.”

Musically, the song is heavy and plodding, and there are elements of early Black Sabbath in the chord progression. In addition, there is an ominous undertone to the entire song that makes Reed’s eerie lyrics even more bone-chilling.

If ‘The View’ is an indication of what is in store for ‘Lulu,’ the album will not be for everyone. But for those willing to step outside the box, musically and mentally, the collaboration may be rewarding.

Listen to Lou Reed & Metallica, ‘The View’

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