Album of the Week
Raging riffs and high emotions dominate as Ozzy returns to form with his 12th album.
Ozzy Osbourne unleashes hell with his latest full length, Ordinary Man, reaffirming that the Prince of Darkness is still worthy of his metal crown.
From his instrumental role in shaping the metal scene to his hugely successful solo career and starring in his own reality tv series with his family, Ozzy has done it all… and it’s that life experience that heavily inspires his new release, his first full-length of original music since 2010’s Scream.
Produced by Andrew Watt, who also plays guitar, and with bass and drum duties falling to Guns N’ Roses alumni Duff McKagen and Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers respectively, the album carries a weighty musical pedigree. Additional cameos come courtesy of Slash, Charlie Puth, Tom Morello, rappers Post Malone and Travis Scott, and pop legend Elton John.
From melancholic to heavy, there’s the occasional nod to early Black Sabbath, and as always, Ozzy’s tracks are never far from the theme of death. He discusses growing old, maturity and ideas of redemption, as well as past tales of drug abuse. The result feels refreshed and rejuvenated, in contradiction to the album’s sometimes macabre topics.
Ordinary Man is anything but morbid, despite what track titles like Goodbye and Under The Graveyard might suggest. Instead, the rock icon continues to sound upbeat and energised between the thrashing chords, thundering drums and nods to fallen friends.
Ozzy is certainly not afraid of death. Instead, he tackles it with ferocity and sneering vocals.
Eat Me dips its toe into early rock n’ roll, while emotions run heavy on the albums title track – a collaboration with Elton John. Here he wrangles with the concept of an ordinary death, having spent most of his life under the spotlight. John provides second verse vocals and a poppy piano riff, with an occasional nod to pop pioneers The Beatles. Ordinary Man is not the only nod to the Fab Four either, as Holy For Tonight utilises strings underneath a classic rock solo.
Today Is The End’s opening has an air of Enter Sandman, while the pummelling drums and searing vocals build up in Goodbye to make way for splintering riffs. The garage-punk riff of It’s A Raid – featuring New York rapper Post Malone – is inspired by the paranoia of drug use and the ensuing pursuit by police. It marks the second collaboration by the pair, the first appearing on Post’s 2019 record Hollywood’s Bleeding.
Straight to Hell is fast and furious, Slash providing an epic guitar as Ozzy tackles the topic of drug use and death.
Ultimately the Prince of Darkness’ 12th album sees Ozzy Osbourne fiercer than ever. Far from ordinary, Ozzy’s unique sound remains loud and impressive.
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1. Straight to Hell
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) (Bonus track)
12. Darkside Blues (Japan bonus track)
Listen to Oridnary Man on Spotify: