Review: Ozzy Osbourne
By Kasey Carr
March 15, 2020
Ozzy Osbourne: Far From an Ordinary Man
Throughout his entire career, the Prince of Darkness has stirred up an intoxicating brew for his fans to enjoy, and his release of Ordinary Man is arguably one of his best batches yet. Far from ordinary, this record is a cut above most of Osbourne’s work throughout his entire career, which is impressive (to say the least). It is nothing short of a miracle that this legendary rocker has survived his own wild lifestyle for 71 years with over five decades in the industry. Thankfully he has managed to maintain some sort of vitals, which goes to show that rock n roll is in fact the ultimate drug to use while endlessly cheating death. Osbourne has time and time again proved himself not only to the rock n roll community, but the entire world — and as his career appears to be coming to a close, he will have surely gone out with his best foot forward with Ordinary Man. It is undeniable that Ozzy Osbourne has never been nor ever will be ‘ordinary,’ and the tracks on this record highlight every notable characteristic of this iconic man, perfectly topping off his already secured legacy.
Kicking off the record right with some hollow gospel howls, “Straight to Hell” shows right out of the gate that the voice Osbourne was gifted straight from the fallen angel himself is still as haunting, even now in 2020. The “Sweet Leaf” sampled ‘alright now’ simply serves to prepare the listener for what’s next, and that is, in fact, one hell of a record.
Up next, the powerful “All My Life” is about as capturing as the 1991 top ten single, “No More Tears.” This sturdy tune is all about reflection and if anyone’s life is worth a glance into the past, it’s surely Osbourne’s. It’s easy to feel an entire lifetime’s worth of emotion in “All My Life.” This particular tune speaks for the motif of the whole record as glimpses of reflection are portrayed throughout Ordinary Man’s entirety, but most prominent in “All My Life.”
The power ballad and title track of the album, “Ordinary Man,” turned out to be exactly what one would expect a collaboration between Osbourne and Sir Elton John to sound like. No surprises here, but that’s right where we would like it to be. Two of the least ordinary men come together here to bless the masses with near-laughable irony. The two icons could have just one thing on their bucket list — not to die an ordinary man — and they very well could die pleased to know that they have both successfully checked that off the list decades ago.
The everlasting theme of paranoia that Osbourne refused to leave behind in the 1970s is present in “Scary Little Green Men.” With images of small green aliens to materialize our fear of the unknown, this tune is sure to haunt those whose brains are full of doubt and megalomania. The mysterious, foreign nature of this particular track isn’t quite the main attraction, though. Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Duff McKagan (Guns ‘n Roses, Velvet Revolver) really beef up the rhythm section in “Scary Little Green Men,” creating a groove that is as toxic as one’s worst paranoid delusions.
Adding Post Malone to the collaborative mix in this almost juvenile manic tantrum, “It’s a Raid” portrays Osbourne’s willingness to dabble in the latest trends without ever overindulging in them. With Post Malone on the front line of the music scene for the new generation only creates more clout for Osbourne, whether he needed it or not. This alliance is — without a doubt — mutually beneficial. This fun little punk-like outburst is one for not only the youth to enjoy, but also the young-at-heart.
Rewind to the prime years of Black Sabbath. If anyone then were to have told me that Ozzy Osbourne would be releasing some of his best material in 2020, I would have laughed with disbelief that he would even make it to see the first light of day in the year 2020. But sure enough here we are, and as an avid rock n roll fan, I am nothing except grateful. Far too often, rockers will overindulge themselves into their own music making, only to devalue their own craft. Osbourne, on the other hand, has consistently created great music throughout his entire career and has always stayed true to what he represents, and Ordinary Man is the strongest argument for that very point. It is no surprise that a record like this one could be so raw with some of the best talent in the industry on the backline. With help from Chad Smith, Duff McKagan, Slash, Tom Morello and Elton John, Ordinary Man was destined to be extraordinary. If you have yet to grant this record a listen, you are surely missing out.