Alright. Where to begin?
At the risk of sounding like a total curmudgeon- the new Lou Reed and Metallica song, “The View,” is terrible. It will make you want to act in the savage ways Tipper Gore once suggested of us metalheads. I know, you can’t help but look too as if it’s a horrific car accident. While you’re busy rubbernecking, let’s talk about the scene of said accident.
The album is inspired by German playwright Frank Wedekind’s work that tells a story of “a young abused dancer’s life and relationships” according to a post on Loutallica. Oh, how complicated metal must be.
Reed starts off this ballad by doing this crappy Bob Dylan stutter through the following lines, “There is no time for guilt or second guessing/ Second guessing based on feeling/ I am the truth, the beauty/ That causes you to cross your sacred boundaries.” Don’t put Metallica’s vocalist’s name, James Hetfield near the words “vocal quality” either because his growls are subpar. To top it off, the entire musicianship of this song is straight up mediocre with the exception of Kirk Hammett’s odd riff near the end that sounds like it’s going through a trash compactor.
Except is it an accident when it’s intentional? To tackle this topic I will provide the three following ideas.
One: If someone told you, “Hey, hey you’re getting close to falling off a cliff..” would you listen or trudge forward? Well, it’s obvious someone didn’t hear us months ago when Lulu was announced.
Two: Lou Reed is of course the singer and songwriter of the Velvet Underground and Metallica is responsible to all that is thrash metal. This one and one doesn’t mean it needs to be two. It’s near any other stupid collaboration I can come up with (or just check whatever band is covering another artist’s song on late night television). This brings us to the obvious overall point: it’s only interesting because it sounds like a bad idea.
The Velvet Underground was notorious for getting too much praise by overzealous media. This is where we trace the origins to “overrated:” Nico and Lou Reed. Art rock is not a concept. All it was was a bunch of acid trippers too racked to come up with anything unique themselves and held elitism over your head (although, not overrated if you consider the collapse of the CSSR’s communist government due to the Plastic People of the Universe– but that’s another story). Point is, to America at least, we let the Velvet Underground pass by with little commercial success and a generation of cardigan-wearing record store owners.
Three: Yeah, there will be those people who say Metallica did this and that with everything from “Enter Sandman” to Napster. Seriously, shut up. They’re Metallica. Even with drummer Lars Ulrich’s most prick-like comments, who really wants to bad-mouth Metallica? There used to be no life ‘til leather, now take the first “h” out of thrash.
So all I got out of this- a bad Album of the Year joke.