This article originally ran in 2011 and has been updated.
Lou Reed and Metallica‘s 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 — including the nefarious masked villain who Inception-ed this idea into Reed’s hapless cerebral cortex while he slept — it’s a failure.
For most of us, however, this is not the big reveal of Lulu. This album was tried and sentenced by the court of public opinion well before its forthcoming trial date, as it were. Slowly drawing the curtain back on the track “The View” made matters worse — much worse — and most people sold their stock but quick, leaving nothing left for Reed and Metallica to do but limp out of the gates and hope they’ll be taken out to pasture in lieu of a more grisly fate.
Fail? Yes. Bad? Not always. This kind of failure is such a glorious, mythic, supernova failure that it’s worthwhile to hear it happen. After aging artist playtime is over, what’s left are a few slivers of good, boldly highlighted like a few flecks of gold in a bag of discarded colored dicks, used tampons, and dried semen. Oh, you weren’t ready for that just then? Too bad. Neither was I when I heard those lines spoken on Lulu. Suit up.