[Album Review] Ozzy Osbourne | Ordinary Man

Ordinary Man is the Prince of Darkness’ first release of new material since 2010’s Scream.  Although I felt Scream was pretty good, the sales numbers don’t lie.  Ozzy’s 2007 release, Black Rain was his first studio album to not be certified RIAA Platinum, and Scream didn’t even reach gold status.  Heck, even I didn’t buy it and I consider myself a fan.

There are a few attempts on Ordinary Man to break the downward slide in sales that I’m sure looked good on paper but the execution is a little lacking.

The core of the band is made up of:

Ozzy – Lead Vocals
Duff McKagan – Bass, also of Guns ‘N Roses
Chad Smith – drums, also of Red Hot Chili Peppers
Andrew (Watt) Wotman – guitars, also the album’s co-producer

They all share a writing credits with a host of guest writers and musicians featured throughout.  We would be here all day if I tried to go through them all.  

Some regulars like Guns ‘n Roses’ Slash and Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello make an appearance, but there are some interesting additions like a collaboration on the title track with Elton John and some dude named Post Malone who is featured on the last two if you got a digital or CD copy.  (The vinyl only has one.)

Even with all of these cooks in the kitchen the pot isn’t fully spoiled.

Ozzy’s humour is front and center on opening track, Straight To Hell when he tells you he is going to make you scream and defecate.  There is something about that word… defecate.  It is equally funny as it is gross.  I enjoy this rocker featuring the Ozzy tropes “alright now” and his evil cackle throughout.  Hits me right in the good spot.

The albums tracks Goodbye, Eat Me, Today Is the End, and Scary Little Green Man are solid.  These gave me Ozzmosis vibes as they are all sludgy, mid-tempo rockers with a sprinkle of heavy guitar moments. 

Under the Graveyard begins as a slow ballad, but the last part takes off to what is as close as this albums gets to Ozzy’s Black Sabbath days.  After 50 years of metal, Ozzy can still finds guys who can come up with the big riff.  Ozzy’s lyrics are best when he is telling of personal life moments and this one is of Sharon putting him back on his feet after he was fired from Sabbath.  It’s a decent tune.

The rest of the album is a bit of a mixed bag.  Individually, All My Life, Ordinary man (his duet with Elton John), and Holy For Tonight are solid ballads but they are too same-y.  I get it.  They are attempts to get Ozzy an FM radio hit like he had previously with Mama, I’m Coming Home and Dreamer.  Even though I do like them, all three on one record makes them less special.  It’s a similar problem I have with Aeorsmith’s Get A Grip.

For the Post Malone stuff, I can see the effort was there to make a bridge with a young audience.  Surrounding himself with successful musicians how are hip to that crowd is what has worked for Ozzy since the ’80s.  So, I respect it.  But I think what they came up with would fit better on a Post Malone album. 

Despite my gripes, I do enjoy Ordinary Man for the most part.  I still like hearing Ozzy’s signature eerie voice over heavy guitars, but maybe an approach to something the core fan base can better appreciate will make the next one a must have.

Regardless, Ordinary Man is not one I can spin endlessly, but I will do once in a while.  I’m glad we have it. 

3/5

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41 comments

  1. An album that was better than I thought it would be. Ozzy would outside of the box and this is what he needed to do. Those four tracks you mentioned do give it an Ozzmosis like vibe. Good stuff as I actually listened to it last weekend.
    Great writeup.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really dug this album. There were a couple of duds, but overall I think it his best in years. My kids even heard some of it thanks to Post Malone, but to be honest my Kids already know who Ozzy is as their Dad makes sure they hear and know certain artists.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it is his best since Ozzmosis but the albums that followed it are not very high bars to jump over. I struggled to not make this one sound too negative as I do like it, but I guess there is more I don’t like than do.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent piece on an album I don’t believe I’ve heard all the way through. I totally hear you about the Aero thing, though. Man, let’s throw it all at the wall and see what sticks! There’s something about Ozzy that makes you want to listen, even when it’s silly or just plain bad. So when he offers up good stuff, it’s even better!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I blame Deke here. I was content to skip this. I skipped Down to Earth and still don’t own it. But my arm was twisted and I bought this. You are kinder than me. I don’t care for it, still.

    Spoiler: I’ll be talking about it on my end of year lists… but not the good list.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I didn’t know he was fired from Sabbath, I thought he left the band to pursue a solo album. Guess I learned something new today! I actually like “Take What You Want,” I just don’t listen to it often and took it off my playlist because I didn’t want radio to ruin it for me. Also, Duff McKagan and Ozzy, how did that happen?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I think Post Malone is for a younger crowd. I’m old and set in my ways, lol.

      Yes, Ozzy was fired. It put him in a huge funk and legend has it that Sharon pulled him out of it, surrounded him with you musicians, and Blizzard of Oz went on to be bigger than anything Sabbath did without him.

      Duff probably just wanted to play on an Ozzy album and the timing/money was right. But I’m just guessing Sharon still has a way of getting top musicians on his albums.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I don’t listen to Post Malone. I tried to get into current music again this past year, but I kept going back to AC/DC, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Backstreet Boys, and Metallica lol!

        I read that Sharon had a role in his recovery! Not for the Parkinsons though, maybe that wasn’t a necessary comment, but yeah. You know oddly enough my high school marching band used to play “Crazy Train” at football games, so I knew Ozzy before Sabbath lol!

        Wow, good for Sharon for having that power!

        Random question, but how come all of Guns n Roses members kept on quitting or getting fired? Except for Axl of course.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Yeah Axl is the reason why I was hesitant about liking a few Guns n Roses tracks. I’ll give him props though for helping AC/DC out on the Rock or Bust tour, despite not liking some of his renditions of their tracks.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. I’ll also give him props for making the band sing some of their deep deep cuts!

                I don’t know how true this is, but some youtube comments said that he sounded better with AC/DC than he did on some Guns n Roses’ recent gigs.

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. I love that they did “Live Wire” too. I mainly listen to Axl sometimes because I was in shock that they sang the songs in the original key (except for “Rock or Bust” they had to make it a higher key).

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. lol, Leprechaun Angus! I don’t know why the colour for the school boy uniform has never been consistent. I like the black one his is rocking now. And yeah, Axl is way too high. He also looks uncomfortable. Oh well. Most people were there to see Angus anyway.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. I think his performance of TNT is the weirdest one because the original key is too high for him. I can’t even understand what he’s singing because of that. Yeah I don’t know why he kept changing his uniform color (to make him look younger? Who knows!). The black one is the best one I agree! I think the material of it changed too overtime because wasn’t it like regular material before, then around the Black Ice era, they changed it to a fuzzy/velvet kind of material?

                      I agree, watching the TNT with Axl again while writing this comment and seeing Angus play with one hand I was thinking, “he was the best part about the performance lol!”

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L66Lyc8c9v4 Not that you need to see it, but….

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Wow, yeah. That is one different take on TNT, lol. It goes to show you how naturally Brian fit in with the group when he took over for Bon. I’ve been avoiding the phone camera videos as they are not a good representation of the band. But it looks like we probably will not get an official release with Axl anytime soon. I know one of the engineers on Rock or Bust said that he mixed one already. It is just sitting on a shelf. I bet there is some problem with it.

                      I think when it comes to the school boy outfit, Angus just grabs whatever is comfortable and looks good for the time.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. Brian was a perfect fit for AC/DC, well to fill Bon’s shoes. But both guys were so different, yet they worked so well with the band. If Brian was a copy of Bon, then they wouldn’t be where they are today (in my humble opinion). Like I said before, “Thunderstruck” is not an easy song to sing.

                      I wouldn’t want a live release with Axl, but I wouldn’t mind a live release with Brian from that tour (since the performed “Sin City” and “High Voltage”).

                      Yeah, you’re probably right about the school boy uniform! I hope he ditches the green and cranberry uniforms for the next tour though.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. Yeah, I don’t know if they professionally recorded anything with Brian on that tour. So far, Rock or Bust is the first album since The Razors Edge where we didn’t get anything live to go with it.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. Didn’t they release live at Donington for the Razors Edge though? I think it would’ve been cool to see a live release of them in the 80s as well, like For Those About to Rock or Fly on the Wall.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    7. Yes, I worded that wrong. I meant it started with The Razors Edge. So I guess I should have said since Blow Up Your Video.

                      And yeah, having now official live stuff from the 80s really sucks because I think that is when they were at their best with Brian. All we got is a few cuts here and there.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    8. I mean I got what you were trying to say, so it’s fine!

                      Dude, Brian’s voice was great in the 80s! I’d kill for a concert with “What Do You Do For Money Honey” from the early 80s! You think that with the success of Back in Black, they could’ve done a live release for their tour after that album!

                      Liked by 2 people

                    9. Yeah, the were really concerned about recording Brian’s voice on Bon’s songs for some reason. They had to be convinced to do AC/DC Live to stop the heaving bootlegging of their shows. Once they saw how much money it made, well… every album got a live film or album to go with it, lol

                      Liked by 2 people

                    10. Yeah thats weird because I like Brian’s renditions of Bon’s songs, especially High Voltage and TNT. Then again, there are some brutal Bon fans that hated the idea of Brian singing Bon’s songs, so yeah! Every album after that except for Rock or Bust!!! 😦

                      Liked by 2 people

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