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Lou Reed and Metallica’s ‘Lulu’

Lou Reed. Metallica. Sex. Violence. Depravity. “Lulu’’ had inspired ingredients for a great record. Alas, this collaboration between Reed and Metallica is a disappointing mess. The godfather of avant-rock and the popular metal band don’t click on any level. Metallica is not an art band, and “Lulu’’ never opens up to the group’s muscled sound. Reed’s lyrics, inspired by lurid German plays from the early 1900s, are brutal and ugly, but so what? It’s easier to find prurient media today than it is to avoid it. So absent of provocative art or interesting context, “Lulu’’ offers little more than laughs at Reed’s and Metallica’s expense. Reed’s eye for detail and ear for emotion fail him. With its phallic daggers and gallons of blood, “Pumping Blood’’ is cheap, creepy porn, not literate rock poetry. “Little Dog’’ loses its viciousness simply by not knowing when to quit; at 4 minutes, the singer’s distaste is vivid, but at 8 minutes the song is perfectly boring. And why Metallica’s James Hetfield ruins the scabby “The View’’ by insisting that he is “the table’’ is a quickly forgettable mystery. Reed is misfiring, Metallica is lost, and “Lulu’’ limps into the repository of flops. (Out today) SCOTT MCLENNAN

ESSENTIAL “Brandenburg Gate’’

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