Legendary Ozzy Osbourne is perdurable and a vita with many ups and also some downs couldn’t stop him on his journey through Rock and Metal.
It wasn’t a given that the iconic Black Sabbath frontman would return with a next studio album. Ravages of time didn’t bypass Osbourne who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Ozzy Osbourne braved all these circumstances and worked on a next album, his twelfth solo record.
‘Ordinary Man’, so the title of the newest release, ends a ten years waiting time, the longest gap between two Osbourne releases. With ‘Under the Graveyard’ and ‘Straight to Hell’ two new tracks have been released already at the end of last year, followed by the title track that was welcomed in January this year. The latter shows Osbourne very soulful. The piano-based ballad, performed together with no less than Elton John, is a touching highlight on an album that certainly is the best one of the ‘Prince of Darkness’ in decades.
Writing about ‘Ordinary Man’ is more than solely reviewing a release. This album is more than just a few songs that have been recorded for a next release. Osbourne himself stated that he put a lot of heart and soul into this record, something you can hear and feel with each note played. Guys like Duff McKagan and Chad Smith contributed to the songwriting process for the album and the two guys have been also part of the recording too, sessions that amongst others also included icons like Slash and Tom Morello. The list of personnel almost sounds like an all-start-game of Rock and Metal.
Furthermore Elton John and his guest appearance on ‘Ordinary World’ is already mentioned while it’s another collaboration that shows a new facet of Osbourne. Teaming up with rapper Post Malone is an unusual step for a Metal legend, an experiment that delivers the great uptempo rocker ‘It’s a Raid’. The ‘Prince of Darkness’ and the rapper worked together already a few months earlier when Osbourne and Travis Scott had an appearance on Malone’s third album ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’. The tune we’re talking about is entitled ‘Take What You Want’ and is part of ‘Ordinary Man’ too.
It’s almost unnecessary to dig into each of the songs more in detail since ‘Ordinary Man’ is bigger than each of its eleven songs. There is the grooving opener ‘Straight to Hell’, the dark ‘Under the Graveyard’ and the heavy pounding ‘Eat Me’ with its harmonica beginning, all excellent penned songs. With “Scary Little Green Man’ the newest delivery also contains a little hit that includes a vibrant chorus and a good groove.
But it’s also the calmer tones that claim a bigger part of the tracklist than usual. Tracks like ‘Holy For Tonight’ and ‘All My life’ are moments that gives you the shivers.
‘Ordinary Man’ more than just a longplayer that carries music. It is a record that features a lot of feel. There are moments when the emotional intensity reminded me of Johnny Cash’s legendary version of ‘Hurt’. ‘Ordinary Man’ of course carries the heavier songs but it’s the emotional moments that makes this longplayer so special.
Throughout the eleven songs featuring tracklist an underlying feeling of ‘goodbye’ is what touches you as a listener. This album feels like the final delivery to a musical legacy of one of the greatest and multifaceted singers in Heavy Metal, a pioneer and an idol for generations of musicians. Thank you Ozzy Osbourne for giving the Metal world this longplayer and thank you for all the earlier releases that made this music genre to what it is.
- Straight to Hell Tonight
- All My Life
- Ordinary Man (feat. Elton John)
- Under the Graveyard
- Eat Me
- Today is the End
- Scary Little Green Men
- Holy For Tonight
- It’s a Raid (feat. Post Malone)
- Take What You Want (feat. Ozzy Osbourne & Travis Scott)
Label: Epic Records
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date EU: February 21st, 2020