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Ozzy's New CD Is Good
on June 22, 2010
The title of this review might not sound too enthusiastic, but I've been listening to Ozzy for about 25 years, and while I'm not going to hype this CD and say it's the best thing I've heard since whatever previous album, I do like it quite a lot and think it has merit. Some fans bash any modern Ozzy music, but a lot of things on Scream sound great, and even though it might not be perfect, and even though it might not even be a masterpiece, I know I'll be listening to it many, many times in the next few weeks and months.
In my opionion, here's what is positive about Scream:
--The music. I've always been a fan of older Ozzy music, and this has some elements of that sound. For example, every song boasts great leads, and Gus G does a tremendous job overall. The quality of songs on the last few Ozzy albums has been inconsistent, but Scream has ten solidly structured songs with choppy, sometimes thrashy metal riffs, the already mentioned excellent leads, and just a feel of quality musicianship (again, for the most part). Several songs remind me of Ultimate Sin-era Ozzy, which is a great thing for me, because that was a classic 80's metal album that wasn't a fan favorite at the time (although Ozzy's highest-selling solo album up until then), but can be appreciated fully now over two decades later.
--Ozzy's vocals. The first song, Let It Die, threw me a little, because Ozzy's vocals in the verses have effects on them and aren't that great. But then, from Let Me Hear You Scream on to the end, I was pretty damn impressed. Ozzy's voice is sometimes vintage-sounding, but mostly just strong, clear, and catchy, which is vintage in itself. I think he sounds better than on Black Rain, and less commercial than on Ozzmosis or Down to Earth.
--Diggin' Me Down, Soul Sucker, Time, and others. I don't see how any long-time Ozzy fan could not like Diggin' Me Down, one of the heaviest tracks on an Ozzy album in awhile. Soul Sucker was supposed to be the title track, and I think it's a great song. People just got confused over what it was supposed to mean (as in, "I'm Gonna Git You, Sucka!"). I didn't think I'd like Time at first, but it really builds and ends up being pretty memorable. It might be a sleeper to end up as a favorite. All of the other songs are pretty good, too; these just stood out after the first listen.
--Metal. This album sounds more like real heavy metal than the more modern metal-rock that Ozzy's been doing for years. And while I've liked Ozzy's last few albums, I'm a metal fan first and foremost, so it's great to hear Ozzy's voice behind music that sounds like good, hard metal. Gus G sounds incredible on this, and he's clearly distinct from Zakk, Jake, and Randy. And even though he didn't do any writing for Scream, he undeniably put his imprint on the songs, and he plays with a lot more fire than Zakk did on Black Rain.
That said, I'm about done. I don't have much negative to say here, other than the fact that this won't top Blizzard, or Diary, or Bark at the Moon. So what? If new Ozzy sounded like crap, I'd say hang it up, but if I've been listening to him for 25 years, and I still think his new stuff sounds good, then what the hell? I'm not giving him five stars out of sympathy; this is a good new metal album that's not perfect, but is well above average. Thanks Ozzy for solo album number 10. I hope you keep Gus G and let him help write number 11.