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When it was announced that Metallica and Lou Reed would be writing and recording an album together, there was a lot of intrigue and a sense of mystery about it. Some felt that the album would be fantastic due to both artists having created some superb music over the years but others thought that the album would be a flop and there would be nothing good about it whatsoever. When the first single was released, entitled The View, most people agreed that the latter category of people had been right. The track got panned and pretty much set the standard of the rest of the album in most people's eyes.
The View comprises of three riffs in total, with two faster sections and a more droning verse riff that just chugs along. The guitar work is a lot weaker than one would expect from the two guitarists that created such classics as Ride The Lightning but the solo is a little better than should be expected. The main riff during the verse is quite boring and is made up of a few chords whilst Lou Reed rambles on over the top of it all. The vocals are somewhat monotonous, with no variation in tone whatsoever but it is the lyrics that are interesting. Lou Reed is a lyrical poet and showcases this on here with many rather odd-sounding lines such as "I want to see your suicide, I want to see you give it up". On this particular song the lyrical content is fairly strong for the most part and is one of the best things about the track but there is one line in particularly that drags it down. "I am the table". Whatever was going through Lou's mind when he wrote this is quite disturbing. James delivers this particular line and it could not sound more ridiculous in the context of the song. James' cameo appearance as a vocalist is very underwhelming and detracts quite a bit from the song but the lyrics and the solo are enough to carry it through. The faster riff that carries this section is quite interesting and a lot better than the one during the verse and adds quite a bit to the quality of The View.
The View is a track that gets somewhat underrated due to the droning nature of the slow verse riff. It has some interesting lyrics that are thought provoking and also a nice riff during the faster sections of the songs, with a cool solo as well.
I'm still not sure where I stand with Lulu in it's entirety- anywhere from 50-70%'s likely. However, I rather enjoyed this song and the need to be an apologist is just too great to deny, so the lead single from the album will suffice while I gather up my 3 or so brain cells and try to come up with a coherent defence of the full length. The album as a whole is one thing- hard to listen to, repetitive, a long album which perhaps asks too much without offering enough in return- but I felt the reaction to this track at least was pretty much really hard to understand.
With the exception of Junior Dad and Iced Honey, this is probably the track where everything fits best on Lulu; where Reed's senile old man ramblings fit the music best, where the simple, repetitive compositions work right, where the result is at once something dark, arty, and enjoyable. The main theme of the tune is, put simply, very good- a big, simple Sabbath riff- nothing you haven't heard before, but very effective and a riff worth repeating- while Lars smashes out a retardedly simple but very primal, really fitting drum beat. The way that the three riffs (count em!) flow together is again, simple, but effective and seamless. Musically, simple, sensible, solid. It's not an all time tune but it's still very good.
Vocally, though? Well, I think this a song where Reed actually compliments the tune. Keeps in rhythm, for one thing, utilises melody, gets a bit angry, keeps the ranting down- and contrasts well with the most aggressive Hetfield vocal since '88 or so. Yes, Hetfield does go "I am the table" a few times; it's pretty funny if you're still elementary school but a quick glance at the lyrics suggests that it makes sense within a very solid bunch off lyrics.
So all up? It's a weird track with some interesting vocal play, it's not a super long track, it's got a nice few riffs and is all round a pretty satisfying listen. Not much more to say, really. Give it a listen before you judge it eh.
Number Eight! *belch*
Fucking magnets, how do
It doesn't attract me, it repels
A science of uninterest
And bloody poetic farts
The emptiness of the mind
Is a challenge to the listener
Must… not… rewind…
Pretentiousness beyond comfort
An infantile boring beat poem
Loss of interest and will to live
To tell you the truth, it's meaninglessness
That causes you to slash open
You belly and spill your guts on the floor
I can't understand it, YOU can't understand it
The pope does not understand it
Hetfield never did understand it
Ulrich never had a chance to begin to understand it
Even assuming it actually meant something and he could read
Unquestioning worship of "art" is loss
Of reason, giving up your own mind
Some call it open-mindedness ™
But it's just herd mentality
Of sheep who think they understand
Something someone said sometime
And that someone was worshipped
By those who didn't understand either
Because his words meant nothing
But admitting it was beyond their ability
To back up from the worship once they began
Minds at loss at the sight of meaninglessness
Struggling to find structure in rambling
Like drunk on pink marshmallow absinthe
No meaning, no sense, just crap
I could talk like that on top
Of mediocre rhythm section
Just spit out what comes to mind
Just like I do now and make it
Look like there was an idea
A plum in perfume served in a man's hat
Somewhere a hipster is loving this
Claiming it's the counterculture sarcasm
And irony of art itself in his mind
But really the ones doing the talking
Are the pot and the just-add-water waffles
Shove it up your Ulrich, will you?
Sell out first to easy-listening radio
Then to the pretended uptight artsy-fartsy stuff
Just to appear cultured, to be hip
To make a record with a (senile?) legend
To make it seem like 75% of the band actually knows how to read
Two discs full of this, you say
I won't spoil my pints on those coasters, I say
Reviewed this off YouTube to save the CO2 emissions
(never done that before, on anything, I swear)
For Lucifer's sake, what utter bollocks!
I AM NUMBER EIGHT! *belch*
I AM NUMBER EIGHT! *belch*
I AM NUMBER EIGHT! *belch*
I AM NUMBER EIGHT! *belch*
I AM JACK'S LEFT TESTICLE!
Trample the black-and-white Pygmy village with the elephants
Let Ernest go to jail
Make Al sell shoes to the Wyoming-sized lady
Give Chevy Chase a leading role in a flick
Lie to other people that Seinfeld actually was funny
Even, fuck, watch Everybody Loves Fucking Raymond
And that's high art by this feces' standards
A professor of arts with a spruce cone up his ass
Jumping a digital eight (*belch*) in a swamp
Is high art compared to this manure of the mind
Don't buy into it, no hidden meanings
Only rambling, no music to speak of
Pay more for a plastic duck in IKEA
Now look what they did to me!
Killed my mind with the mighty hammer of boredom
Made me write with no regard to rhyme or metric
or sense or content or Number Eight *belch*
Shoot me in the head, please. …please?
Metallica had made a new album with the incredible Lou Reed with the title "Lulu" and I looked at the cover and thought: "oh god here we go, St. Anger number three". Being optimistic, I tried not to judge the album by it's cover and I decided to dig deeper and find a preview of this album, suddenly news on the internet went around about a preview song known as "The View". Like every other fan out there who was starting to lack faith in the band, I gave the song a listen, in hopes of hearing something good because they have Lou Reed in their line-up and that Metallica had the chance of bringing back their thrash vibe and sound. I just wasted five minutes and seventeen seconds of my life and I'll never get that back. Is this single really that bad? I'll tell you something: yes it is! This song practically makes St. Anger & Death Magnetic musical masterpieces.
The song is played out like this:
It starts off with some really bad drum filler played by the infamous Lars Ulrich and then the instruments start coming in, despite that the riffs sound okay it doesn't help. Lou Reed is talking through some lyrics that sound like they've been pulled out of his ass, and as he's "talking" them out, Metallica is jamming in the background carelessly. The song goes on like this for a while and tends to repeat a little until the outro comes in with James Hetfield yelling out "I'M THE TABLE" over and over again. Yes, you heard me, that's it. No words can describe it further.
I thought St. Anger was the worst album they have ever produced, I guess I was wrong. This song really does give us "The View" on the upcoming album. To a whopping percentage of 99.9% of (former) Metallica fans, the game (meaning Metallica's future) is over. What the hell were they thinking? Personally, it could be the fact that they have no material or ideas left in their heads and just want to make money, because let's be honest, what else could they do for a living? Don't think this is an "Anti-Metallica" fan rant, it's not. I'm telling the absolute truth when I say: "don't buy this album!" because it's going to be a waste of money and your time. So if James wants to be the table, then I get to be the fan that's royally pissed off and disappointed! Metallica was my first metal band when I was 12, I own their first four albums and they were great even now. It just kills me that the band I spent a majority of my teen years listening to has finally broken apart into tiny pieces and I'm pretty sure it can't be fixed. All in all, this single wasn't great at all, it didn't make the cut. They weren't even there. My only advice to the fans, who still want to listen to this album/single, bring a gun and some earplugs.
There comes a time when someone possessed of even the slightest sliver of common sense has to put his foot down and say that the case for innovation has its limits. While it is very true that without innovation any art form will wither and die, the same case could be argued for everything needing water, yet if you immerse anything not possessed of gills or a structure otherwise conducive to filter oxygen from H20 in nothing but it, the object will drown. This is the dilemma that many bored metal bands seem to be suffering from of late, with Metallica being among the chief offenders, wandering from one bizarre project to the next with no accounting for consistency in any respect. While most might be taken aback of even shocked by what appears to be the first representation of a certain flop of a collaboration with Lou Reed, I’m not, and I’d venture to argue that my assessment and that of every other detractor of their output since the mid-90s should function as a big “I told you so” to anyone who expected a good product here.
The most common defense of this song is that it isn’t an official Metallica project, and should thus be treated differently. I will be charitable and assume this to be the case, despite the fact that the Metallica brand name is included on this album and not one or two, but all 4 members in congress are functioning in a full time musical capacity. At best, what is heard on here can be summed up as a really redundant, sloppy, 3 riff traditional doom song with a fair infusion of hard rock. While nothing on this song can be qualified as redeemable, particular note should be taken of Lars’ drumming, exuding a banality to it that is frightening. There’s no fills, no turn around, no transitions to speak of, just an awkward straight beat that switches between down tempo and middle of the road. The riff set is a droning knockoff of a number of stoner riffs I’ve heard somewhere, playing up the pentatonic sensibilities and murky tone of Iommi circa 1971, yet failing to add any detailing apart from two noise-driven lead breaks out of Hammett that sound like a catatonic failed attempt at emulating Dave Chandler.
The many problems this song suffers from don’t end with a poor performance out of Metallica, and I’d argue that they are the lesser offenders here. The real annoyance is the middle ground between speaking and singing (the Germans call this Singspiel, and it was utilized in a modern atonal opera of the same name as this single’s full length album in the 1930s by Anton Berg with far superior results) that Lou Reed is utilizing during his vocal sections. Not only does it completely clash with what little is going on here musically, it is utterly flat and dead, almost as if a recently reanimated zombie from “The Last Man On Earth” is dictating the lyrics. James Hetfield chimes in occasionally during the slightly faster sections, sounding his usual half-assed self, as has been the case since “Load”. To chalk the production of this monstrosity up, picture the deadened drum sound of “Death Magnetic” and cross it with the hollow, limp guitar sound of “Reload”, and take away any semblance of energy that any of the songs on those albums still managed to have.
Good people of the world should mind the risks of getting drunk on one’s own ego after being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, because this is quite a telling case of checking one’s brain at the door. I literally got more enjoyment suffering through the catastrophe that was “St. Anger” that this song, and given the ridiculously long time lengths advertized on “Lulu”, I wonder if I will be able to survive an hour and a half of this brand of punishment. I wouldn’t say buy the upcoming album because of the likely accusations of human rights violations that would follow, but for those who like it long and painful, waiting a few weeks after the release will probably see some people either giving it away, or asking for a currency number that jingles. Somewhere in a bar or couple of bars in America, both Jason Newstead and Dave Mustaine are laughing their asses off right now.