Ozzy Osbourne is back! After ten years of waiting and a real annus horribilis – neck surgery, staph infection, Parkinsons disease diagnosis and many postponed shows 😱 – the Black Sabbath singer and notorious Madman delivers what seems to be his swansong. Or is it, really? The guy has shown throughout his 50 years long career that death is certainly no match for him.
The heavy metal icon confessed this album helped him forget about his recent troubles and fight the grim reaper. It was recorded quite quickly – only four weeks, and four days for the instrumental! – with the collaboration of Andrew Watt, Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses) and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers). But you can also hear a lot of very special guests like our beloved Slash (Straight to Hell) or Sir Elton John (Ordinary Man).
Theories of an old man
The album is quite agreable and fun to listen to, though a bit too polished, if you asked us. You’ll find pretty nice and heavy riffs – including what seems to be Enter Sandman’s twisted lil brother in Today is the End. You’ll have lots of great ballads. Big up to the beautiful Ordinary Man and Under the Graveyard, the first single, issued last december.
Ozzy’s voice is still strong and magnetic, though a bit electronically helped. His borderline humor is intact – “Is it tea-time yet? Do they serve tea in heaven?, he screams at the end of Goodbye. The songwriting is really catchy – like the infectious It’s a raid or Scary little Green Men. Ozzy even pushes his rock boundaries with an intriguing hip-hop collab with Post Malone, Take what you want.
The lyrics of this album are really touching, as Ozzy serves his most authentic self ever. The themes are universal – fear of dying, reflections on his legacy, self loathing and crippling insecurities. Phrases like “Heaven can take me but no one can save me from hell again.”, “Today I woke up and I hate myself,”, “Don’t know why I’m still alive”, or “Death doesn’t answer when I cry for help” sum up Ozzy’s gloomy state of mind perfectly. Is it because this album is the first one he made 100% sober?
Still, the madman is fighting darkness with great force and courage. Swansong or not, this album is a keeper. Give this man a piece of cake! And Jason Momoa too!
EDIT: Swansong, Schmansong. Ozzy is already thinking about a new LP. Rock on forever, Prince of Darkness!0