|Review: Ozzy Osbourne - Ordinary Man|
Year released: 2020
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: February 23, 2020
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Fifty years after the release of Black Sabbath's landmark debut album and forty years after his first solo album, Ozzy Osbourne, now closing in on 71 years of age, releases his 12th studio album (if my count is right). That's also ten years after his last album, Scream. It doesn't matter whether you like him or not, that is an impressive track record. Even more impressive is that, at 70, the man sounds pretty damn good on this new album. Unfortunately, his recent health problems have resulted in the postponement, and ultimately cancellation, of his tour.
Ordinary Man is, in the grand scheme of things, a pretty mellow album. It is not an album that will rock your socks off or make you headbang like a maniac. You won't find here anything like his '80s rockers that so many of us have grown fond of. This is not to say that the album doesn't sound like Ozzy. In fact, for the most part the songs are very well in line with the more mellow tracks that you could find in his '80s and '90s albums. Melodic, soothing, melancholic—that kind of stuff, with a lot of catchiness to boot.
There are some songs that feature other singers, like the title track which features Elton John, which was released a few weeks before the album. This one fits like a glove with the first nine tracks and doesn't break the flow of the album. It is the last two tracks, "It's a Raid" (featuring Post Malone) and "Take What You Want" (Post Malone, Travis Scott) that break the mood and feel like bonus tracks on a cheap reissue. "It's a Raid" actually rocks quite a bit and is pretty decent, so it stands by itself, but it's kind of an outlier. "Take What You Want" is actually pretty horrible and is mainstream as fuck. While "It's a Raid" has its moments, this one doesn't and make for an unbelievably lame album closer. File that under, "what the hell were they thinking?"
If you're in the mood for some relaxing, soothing and catchy music with a metallic edge and like Ozzy's vocal style and his past mellower output, then Ordinary Man certainly delivers the goods and is a safe bet. Personally, I like to skip the last two songs, if only to preserve the mood of the album.
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