Friday, February 28, 2020

Ozzy Osbourne- Ordinary Man (Epic Records)

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   Mad, iron, miracle, vertical and now ordinary man. Ozzy has seen, done, snorted and drank it all in a life that so far has been extraordinary. The stories are out there and I've been told a few by people who were there. So what about the music? Well it's been 10 years since the release of his last solo album Scream, for many a disappointment, as was Black Rain and Down To Earth. I got something from all three, they weren't great but each had its moments and I would loved to have seen Gus G given a chance to write an Ozzy album. You would have to go back to No More Tears in 1991 for a classic Ozzy release. An album from him in 2020 gets these responses:

   The glass half-full guy: "Hey, Ozzy is a living legend and he's given me so much joy with his music since Sabbath. If it wasn't for him nobody would have heard of Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee or Zakk Wylde. The Osbournes was groundbreaking and one of the funniest shows I've seen in years. C'mon man he's 71 years old and if he wants to make a new album then more power to him, anything at this stage is a bonus, right."

   The glass half-empty guy: "Ozzy's voice is shot and has been for years, he hasn't made a decent album in nearly three decades because Bob Daisley is not there to write the songs. Zakk should be on the album, what's the point of introducing another guitarist now. The Osbournes made him a laughing stock. He's made his money and should have retired years ago when he announced it".

   So is this another disappointment or a late career comeback? Lets talk about the sound of the album first. There's no expense spared here and producer/guitarist Andrew Watt has the thing sounding amazing, Ozzy must have recorded this in a very expensive kitchen with the best blenders and filters used to get a pitch perfect performance. So much so that at times it doesn't sound like a real person singing the songs at all, there's effects on his vocals everywhere and there are a lot of vocals.

   I could live with that if the songs were great and I don't feel the majority are. Andrew Watt can play but outside of the opener Straight To Hell the album is missing great memorable riffs and solos. Goodbye and Under The Graveyard try to capture that old school Sabbath sound but are ruined with industrial sounding parts, when it comes to copying Sabbath sometimes less really is more. The trying to be punk sounding It's A Raid with Post Malone is dreadful. Eat Me goes nowhere as does Scary Little Green Men. It's the songs where Ozzy channels his love of the Beatles that save the album. All My Life is brilliant with the same vibe as I Just Want You from Ozzmosis, the title track featuring Elton John is heartfelt, listen to Today Is The End and tell me you can't hear Alice In Chains doing this. That brings me to closing track Take What You Want that should have featured Ozzy singing the whole song. If it is his last solo album and let's be honest it's looking like it I don't need to hear Post Malone sing half of it.'s ok and no victory like Priest's Firepower. A new Ozzy album that everyone will talk about for a couple of weeks before putting back in their collection where it will most likely gather dust along with the other latter day Ozzy albums. It's ordinary. Man.


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