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Articles Home » 2007 Articles » Osbourne, Ozzy - 2007 Black Rain
Osbourne, Ozzy - 2007 Black Rain

ARTIST: Osbourne, Ozzy
ALBUM: Black Rain
SERIAL: 88697053342
YEAR: 2007


LINEUP: Ozzy Osbourne - vocals * Zakk Wylde - guitars * Rob Nicholson - bass * Mike Bordin - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Not Going Away * 02 I Don't Wanna Stop * 03 Black Rain * 04 Lay Your World On Me * 05 The Almighty Dollar * 06 Silver * 07 Civilize The Universe * 08 Here For You * 09 Countdowns Begun * 10 Trap Door


WEBLINKS: www.ozzy.com

'Black Rain' is Ozzy Osbourne's first studio album in six years. Not that the Prince Of Darkness has been hiding in the shadows in the meantime. Anyone with a taste for MTV will have seen The Osbournes TV show, plus we've had a live CD and a covers album in between times. Musically, the global soundscape has changed markedly in that six year period, so it would've been interesting to see how Osbourne coped with the change. Coming back to assist is ace axe hero Zakk Wylde, who also has been busy with his own band Black Label Society. Not that his semi-industrial metal has rubbed off on this new album because to my ears, this is relatively restrained metal. Really, 'Black Rain' is representative of the era it resides in, but it is not a pinch on Osbourne's previous (and more superior) material. They say that Ozzy is only as good as the guitarist he is working with - and he has worked with many of the greats. But here on 'Black Rain', Zakk Wylde's familiar trademark riffs had more impact on 1991's excellent 'No More Tears'. Sixteen years down the track, well.. it sorta sounds like a guitarists groundhog day.

The Songs
Announcing his arrival, the opener 'I'm Not Going Away' reinforces his class attendance to all his devoted listeners. It doesn't take long for him to give us a great new tune to chew on. 'I Don't Wanna Stop' is excellent stomping melodic metal - the stuff we are all so familiar with. Given a decent slice of subject matter, Ozzy can easily wax the lyrical. Take the title track 'Black Rain' - a veiled poke at the war in Iraq. Or 'The Almighty Dollar' which looks at modern society's pre-occupation with acquiring wealth, and at nearly seven minutes, it's the albums longest track. The slow to mid tempo grind takes at jibe at industry, with parting shots using lyrical terms such as 'poison the air we breathe', 'chained to industrial need', 'the radiation is real'. Aah, sounds kinda ironic considering Ozzy' pre-disposition towards his past recreational needs (do I need to say anymore.. lol). This is what sobriety does to ya! Elsewhere, 'Silver' is an uptempo blast and is another album highlight, though the ballad 'Here For You' ain't far behind. Expect to see this video at some stage, a poignant piano based ballad with a good message and melodic intent. The message of mankind's decline is reiterated on 'Countdown's Begun' while 'Trap Door' explores the world of personal torment, an all too familiar theme in today's suicide ridden world.

In Summary
Opinions are quite divided on the album. Diehards only want one thing from Osbourne - and they get it. An album that is distinctly Ozzy and delivered album after album. In much the same way that AC/DC can plough out album after album and still be considered demi-gods among their fan base - so too with Ozzy. Let's face it, we know that Osbourne isn't getting younger and his voice is starting to take its toll, but thankfully now that he has cleaned up his act sobriety wise, Ozzy will be squeezing more creative juices out of the musical orange for some time to come. Hardened metallers may think this CD is quite lightweight by their standards, but the more melodically inclined among us might be tempted to give this a listen.. as I did, and come away a little bit more impressed than I might've been. Certainly with tunes like 'I Don't Wanna Stop', 'Silver' and 'Here For You', Ozzy proves that there is more to come from this embattled old warhorse. But please.. leave the reality shows alone!

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This article has been tagged
#1 | jeffduran on May 06 2008 08:24:56
Here For You and I Don't Want To Stop Are two of the best songs Ozzy has recorded in 20 years!
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