OZZY OSBOURNE – Ordinary Man (2020)
Legend OZZY OSBOURNE will release his new album “Ordinary Man” next Feb. 21, the Prince Of Darkness first solo album in almost a decade.
“There’s a line in ‘Ordinary Man’ where I sing, ‘I don’t want to die an ordinary man,’ which I don’t think I will,” Osbourne said in a statement. “It was a lot of fun to do, though. It’s a lot different from my other albums. We recorded it quickly, which I haven’t done since the first Black Sabbath album. This made it a different process, which I actually enjoyed.”
We have an easy choice here. Wecan either speculate wildly about Ozzy Osbourne’s current state of health and the likelihood of him fulfilling those oft-promised tour dates or we can just focus on the unexpected reality that “Ordinary Man” is really [email protected] good.
After all, if anything has kept Ozzy alive over the last 50 years of often chaotic and self-destructive good and bad times, it’s the music itself.
Admittedly, the fact that this is easily the best album Ozzy has released since 2001’s ‘Down To Earth’ comes as a major surprise at this point.
Whether due to continual media attention, the final curtain coming down on Black Sabbath or those intermittent health concerns, he hasn’t released an album of new solo material since the Gus G-augmented ‘Scream’ in 2010.
That was a decent record with a few sparkling, standout moments, but few would regard it as a classic on a par with No More Tears or Diary Of A Madman.
“Ordinary Man” isn’t a classic either, but given that it could well be Ozzy’s final artistic statement, it hits the target hard and often, brims with energy throughout and has plenty of that irresistible sense of mischief that typified the Double-O’s early records.
Oh, and a massive power ballad duet with Elton John.
The singles that heralded this album’s imminent arrival are as strong as any Ozzy has released in the last 30 years. He’s still using the same, tried and tested melodic hooks to make his point, thank Satan, but in the likes of ‘Under The Graveyard’ and ‘Straight To Hell’ (featuring Slash), Ozzy sounds rejuvenated and newly reacquainted with heavy metal as a dark but dynamic artform.
Even ‘It’s A Raid’ rocks like an absolute bastard, thanks in part to Post Malone’s wise decision not to ruin the whole thing. Frankly, it’s a jarring team-up that reeks of cynicism and it’s hard to believe that Ozzy (favorite band: The Beatles) was eager to work with the alleged rapper (or even
knew who he was), but it’s a terrific song nonetheless.
In contrast, when Elton pops up to do his thing on the title track, it all makes perfect sense, not least because Ozzy is known to be a huge fan, but also because these two great rock’n’roll survivors are clearly kindred spirits. As overwrought, indulgent ballads go, it’s a pretty damn good one, too.
The rest of these songs are uniformly boisterous and balls-out, from the bugeyed stomp of ‘Eat Me’ and the rampaging ‘All My Life’ through to the dual-paced ‘Goodbye’ and the glowering, gothic drama of ‘Today Is The End’.
Most importantly, Ozzy is in fine voice and sounds like he’s having a blast, even as he repeatedly ponders his mortality. If age is finally catching up with the Prince Of Darkness, the memo has definitely not arrived on his desk.
An ordinary man he may be, but he’s still a darn metal hero and this is an admirably strong way to take a (possibly) final bow.
01 – Straight To Hell
02 – All My Life
03 – Goodbye
04 – Ordinary Man (Feat. Elton John)
05 – Under The Graveyard
06 – Eat Me
07 – Today Is The End
08 – Scary Little Green Men
09 – Holy For Tonight
10 – It’s A Raid (Feat. Post Malone)
11 – Take What You Want (Feat. Post Malone & Travi$ Scott)
Ozzy Osbourne – lead vocals
Andrew Watt – guitars, production
Duff McKagan – bass guitar
Chad Smith – drums
Slash – lead guitar (tracks 1, 4)
Charlie Puth – keyboards (track 1)
Elton John – piano and co-lead vocals (track 4)