Even though 2019 was set to be somewhat of a terrible year for OZZY OSBOURNE, between all the health issues, the Godfather of Metal somehow managed to find time to write and record a brand new album. With “Ordinary Man,” OZZY OSBOURNE releases his first solo albums in ten years, let’s delve in and find out what you can expect from this release.
The album opens with “Straight To Hell,” and starts off on a high note with a heavenly choir before the heavy riffs kick in. These riffs are classic OZZY OSBOURNE, heavy and light at the same time, twirling around his hooky vocal melodies. That the guitar work in “Straight To Hell” is top-notch is not much of a surprise when you find out that none other than SLASH is featured in the song. “All My Life” slows down the energetic tempo, but still remains the heaviness that was introduced with the first track. “All My Life” is perhaps a bit more of a straight forward 80s hard rock song that includes an epic solo, and a strong chorus.
The beginning of “Goodbye” sounds like a throwback to “Iron Man,” a pretty welcome link to the past. The minimalistic drum beat introduced there continues throughout the whole song, and the energy of the guitars has shifted to a beautiful blend of blues and doom. The slow tempo picks up its pace in the middle of the song and continues to be a powerful song with pounding drums and wailing guitars. That being said, lyrically, the song makes me feel a little bit sad. There clearly is some sort of a theme present on the album where it almost feels as if OZZY OSBOURNE is saying goodbye to all of us while looking back to what he has achieved in the past.
“Ordinary Man” is a fantastic duet with Elton John, and if you have followed the news surrounding OZZY OSBOURNE‘s recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, these lyrics certainly hit hard. The bombastic piano-led power ballad is definitely a highlight on the album. “Under The Graveyard” starts off with an atmospheric acoustic guitar intro, the lyrics explore the same topics as were introduced in the previous songs. This is perhaps the catchiest song on the record, with somewhat poppy vocals at times, but it still contains plenty of soul-crushing riffs and a compelling guitar solo. We get a shock rock song in the form of “Eat Me,” which is a strange introduction in the otherwise grim album. The lyrics are not related to the rest of the explored topics and are a bit more playful. As a song, “Eat Me” is solid, however, it feels a bit of a filler when you compare it to the rest of the material.
With “Today Is The End,” The Prince Of Darkness is experimenting a little bit with more poppy elements in the sound, which is a welcome surprise, even though it takes a while to get used to. “Scary Little Green Men” is a song presumably about aliens, and again feels a bit like an odd one, but it’s terribly catchy and feels a little bit more explorative, making it a fun song, and it includes plenty of humoristic elements, take for example the extra-terrestrial outro. A song like “Scary Little Green Men” definitely is a great addition to the otherwise somber undertone of the album. “Holy For Tonight” is a more straightforward rock song, with great melodies, harmonies and backing vocals. Again OZZY OSBOURNE is reflecting on what a death row inmate’s legacy might be when facing death.
OZZY OSBOURNE got re-introduced to the youngsters in the world by being featured on a POST MALONE song. Why change a recipe to success? “It’s A Raid” features POST MALONE as a guest, and welcomes him into OZZY OSBOURNE‘s world. The result is a very aggressive, and punky piece of rock ‘n’ roll with a great chorus to sing along to. The album, however, ends with “Take What You Want,” which features both POST MALONE and TRAVIS SCOTT. Unlike “It’s A Raid,” this doesn’t feel like an OZZY OSBOURNE track, and therefore feels like out of sync with the rest of the album, and for the standard metalhead or rocker, this ending won’t be the climax we all waited for.
Overall, the album contains plenty of highlights that any OZZY OSBOURNE fan will enjoy. “Ordinary Man” perhaps doesn’t stack up against early classics such as “Blizzard of Ozz,” or “Diary of a Madman,” but it contains plenty of hooks, crushing riffs, great melodies and all of the ingredients we need to make it an outstanding OZZY OSBOURNE record. The strongest feature on the album is definitely the lyrics, which show an even more personal side of OZZY OSBOURNE. The reflective state of the lyrics, combined with the strong musicianship and songwriting, make “Ordinary Man” proof that OZZY OSBOURNE is extraordinary, and has immortalized himself with this release.
Written by Laureline Tilkin
1. “Straight To Hell” featuring Slash
2. “All My Life”
4. “Ordinary Man” featuring Elton John
5. “Under The Graveyard”
6. “Eat Me”
7. “Today Is The End”
8. “Scary Little Green Men”
9. “Holy For Tonight”
10. “It’s A Raid” featuring Post Malone
11. “Take What You Want” – Post Malone featuring Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott