May 22, Epic Records released Ozzy Osborne’s: Black Rain. According to Osborne, this is the first album he has co-wrote and recorded “clean.” By clean, he clarified to Greta Van Susteren of FOX News, he means this is the first album he has done without being high.
His fast lifestyle finally caught up with him, according to Osborne, and he got tired of getting high every day. He said he felt like he was losing everything, and he was tired of waking up every day “apologizing for yesterday’s behavior.” One of his answer to life changes, which include living drug and alcohol free, was to record his first album in six years.
The guru of heavy hitting metal with gut wrenching lyrics created his own style in the 70’s. Heavy metal fans for the past three decades have Ozzy to thank for laying daring ground work in the early days of his career, which contemporary artists continue to build upon. He has returned again with eerie guitar sounds, fast, hard chords, drums, and lyrics.
Musical talent and producing are outstanding, but the vocals are weak. Ozzy has built a career, even a new genre, of music on his spirit of rebellion and tenacious hedonism. Despite the vocals, with a cult following, this latest album is sure to be a hit. You can hear the single “I Don’t Want to Stop,” on Ozzy’s home website. The god of the Sabbs will sell albums.
The single “I Don’t Want to Stop,” has been opened by Ozzy for a video competition. In an effort to keep an edge in the market, Ozzy followed wife and manager Sharon Osbourne’s advice in promoting the album with a contest. The CD price is also reasonable, 10 songs for $10. The idea is to offer music more cheaply than it can be downloaded, or burned and shared. In his interview on FOX, Ozzy said the industry today is totally different. He admitted that he isn’t technologically savvy, nor does he have the desire or patience to learn new technology.
Fans must remember this is a man who started with Black Sabbath in the days of vinyl. He remembers when CD’s first hit the market and wondering at the marvel of the new technology. Now, he has hit the market with a new CD: Black Rain.
I have reviewed the album and will not purchase it. I approached the album with an open mind, despite my predisposition to all things Osborne. Black Rain was a dissappointing mixture of screatching guitars and lousy lyrics. This particular genre of music makes me feel as if my ears are going to bleed. To term this and Ozzy’s previous work as “music” is a stretch in terminology. Screaming guitars and rebellious music are a dime a dozen these days. It is only Ozzy’s iconic status that sets him apart. I find his music and lyrics too creepy for my taste. Those same characteristics attract some of his followers. The underlying theme is godless and hedonistic. I find music that promotes these ideals reprehensible. So, though my readers slay me, I don’t think this album is worth ten cents, much less ten bucks.
In my opinion, the music is strong, but the lyrics are weak. This album is nothing but an old man’s tribute to himself, his lifestyle, and his fans.
He did acknowledge in his FOX news interview that his biggest pleasure is in being there for his fans. He admits to still having stage fright, but sights that as a crucial element in keeping him on the edge to do his best. He admitted to being beset by “tremendous stage fright,” but his great love is walking out on the stage seeing his fans. He stated that he doesn’t feel they are there for him, but that he is there for them. Black Rain includes a tribute to his fans entitled, “Here for You.”
In my opinion, his best isn’t quality, but he has a tremendous fan following and continues to live at the top of his game. Kudos to Ozzy Osbourne for choosing to live a drug and alcohol free life. If only he would come to the realization that his music begs for a high, he may one day produce a quality album.