So it's not exactly on the ballot for the 2012 Grammy Awards, but Lou Reed and Metallica's album collaboration Lulu isn't that bad. Or is it?
A record store took a rather counterintuitive approach to advertising its music, when it hung a sign nearby the album which read, Lou Reed talking over Metallica playing boring jams. Probably the worst thing ever.
It's true the album was not exactly critically acclaimed or loved by Metallica, Lou Reed or Velvet Underground, for which Reed was the former front man, fans. In fact, Metacritic listed it as the worst album of the year, with a user score of 1.8 out of a possible ten. It's also true the album has not sold well, having only sold 13,000 copies worldwide, with 3,000 from the U.S., as of Nov. 16 when it was on the market for nearly two months.
But was it that bad?
The general consensus says, yes.
Since the first single The View was released in September, just over one month before the album came out, the reception for the much-hyped project was purely negative.
Lulu is a complete failure on every tangible and intangible level of its existence. From conception to collaboration, production to execution, album art to lyrics, music to almost every part of the album-making process...it's a failure, wrote Jeremy Larson from the Consequence of Sound.
This makes Rebecca Black sound like a goddamned musical genius. Wow that was awful, one Reddit user wrote.
But Rolling Stone, however, called it less ridiculous than you might expect and gave it a three out of five stars, and that's the review my normally unbiased self likes to read, in this case.
Still, most of the listeners blame Reed for their displeasure with the album.
As a musician, Lou Reed's always been pretty sloppy - and as he gets older it just gets worse. Team him up with a set of solid and tight musicians like Metallica and he looks and sounds even more lost, another Reddit user wrote.
But little did they, presumably Metallica fans, know, the album was Reed's project, with Metallica backing. (Lars Ulrich told USA Today in October, This is a one-off project. It's a new collective.)
Reed and Metallica had been in talks to do a collaborative project together since performing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th Anniversary concert in 2009 at Madison Square Garden.
The lyrics were conceived by Reed based on two plays by German playwright Frank Wedekind, which he sing-speaks with occasional backing by James Hetfield.
Reed, accustomed to being scorned by others, defended the concept. Reed said Metallica fans are threatening to shoot me, and that's only because I showed up...They're recommending various forms of torture and death.
I don't have any fans left. After Metal Machine Music (1975), they all fled. Who cares? I'm essentially in this for the fun of it, Reed told USA Today.
But some fans, like myself, appreciate the album for what it is: a long overdue experiment in avant garde in the mainstream.
And at this point, any act of courage in the music industry amongst the Katy Perry's and Lady Gaga's should go diamond in my book.