First off, let me acknowledge in advance that this is barely a review. Everything I said in this post about advance single "The View" applies to the album as a whole. It sounds like exactly what it is: a sixty-nine year old Lou Reed shouting his decadent-poetry shtick over latter day Metallica sludge-riffing. Mostly, this post is here because I want my name added to the roll call of those who are known to have sat through the damned thing in its entirety. Five and a half minutes of "The View" was one thing; just under ninety of the entire album is quite another, and I want my due credit.
Certainly Lulu is uncompromising. That's not exactly a compliment, mind you: in the annals of rock geekdom, "uncompromising" is mostly used as a euphemism for "unlistenable" where artists that are generally to be respected are concerned. For example: "Gosh, that Sonic Youth album where they do nothing but mumble over discordant guitar feedback sure is uncompromising." See how that works? You get to kind of call it shit and have an out should the cognoscenti eventually declare the stupid thing a work of genius at a later date.
Right, then: Lulu is uncompromising. It's also shit. Unlike most of the bellyaching that's permeating so many of the blogs down in blogville, I can scientifically prove it. Just after I finished my first and last listen to the thing, I opened two different media players on my computer. On one, I queued up Metallica's Master of Puppets; on the other, Lou Reed's New York, the albums I consider to be each respective artist's high water mark. I then balanced the volumes of each so both were equally audible. The resulting cacophony was uncompromising, not to mention unlistenable and pretty much shit. It was also about a thousand times more entertaining than Lulu. There's your review, and there's your proof.
EDIT: Want something a bit more specific? Head on over to Chuck Klosterman's review, which I read after writing my own post, so any similarities in thought are coincidental, blah blah blah. I've got a bit of a love-hate thing with him, mostly stemming from the fact that I'd like to be as well-paid as he is to do exactly what he does for a living, but he's 100% on target with this one.