Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Label: Epic Records
One of the few Greek music journalists I read constantly Andreas Andreou (No Remorse, Iron Fist, Crystal Logic Blog, Metal Hammer), even though I appreciate much more guys in work, recently said that every album list that respects itself should have at least an Ozzy album. And I believe he is right. And I intend to have Ordinary Man on 2020’s top album list. Yes, it’s only 21st of February and we have to wait for 10 months and a plethora of albums that will be in stores in this period. I will include it in my Top-Dirty Dozen-12 list, not because I feel sympathy for Ozzy’s Parkinson’s diagnosis, neither ‘cause it seems to be his last effort something like his Bowie-“Blackstar”- farewell to family, friends and fans. Nor because I want to show some respect to a living legend. Damn I will do it for the only reason that matters. Because it is a glorious (still mainstream as fuck) album. In fact too mainstream for the cult hordes of 80’s metal, but Ozzy was always too shiny for them, at least after 1982…
In his 71, with a five decade of pure rock ‘n roll history on his back, he collaborates with some of the elite of music industry (Andrew Watt that co-wrote the songs and played guitar here, Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, along with guests such as post Malone, Elton John, Charlie Puth and Slash) in order to create another stellar full length.
Ok, it is closer to Hard Rock than Heavy Metal and the closer track is actually a r ‘n b ballad or something, still a nice track even though nothing extraordinary, but before we step there, we have to face 10 brilliant tracks. The whole aura of the album is a bit pessimistic, reverberating a misery and a depression as if the album is a mirror where Ozzy’s soul is reflected.
The lyrics sometimes are goofy and stupid. You expect something like that in an Ozzy album, Ozzy was always the clown that was celebrating his demons and his cry was enough to make you laugh. Osbourne sounds melancholic, but in a way dynamic and full of energy. After several listening, I realized that “Ordinary Man” is like a 1995’s “Ozzmossis” part.2. I say it as a good thing. As most of its tracks recorded in one or two takes there’s a live feeling that embraces the vibrating guitars and the dramatic tint of Ozzy’s voice.
All choruses are well written and most bridges are memorable, while the melodies are crafted with a theatrical touch. Ozzy’s 12th studio album is a collection of sentimental tunes inspired by his life (“Under the Graveyard”), homicidal aliens (“Scary Little Green Man”), cannibalism (“Eat Me”), 70’s glam (“Holy for Tonight”) and cocaine (“It’s a Raid”), featuring born-to-be-hit like “Take What You Want,” and power ballads such as “All My Life” and “Goodbye”. I know some will claim that it is too easy for him to make such a record, as easy as he swaps verses with Elton John in “Ordinary Man” or as easy as he laughs in the chorus of “Straight to Hell”, yet the final result is worthy enough in order to add it to your collection.