• A strong heritage of a living legend - A review of Ozzy Osbourne's Ordinary Man

    Ozzy Osbourne - Ordinary Man (2020)

    At age seventy-one, the career of The Prince of Darkness who has recently been battling with serious health problems is slowly coming to an end. While other artists would have retired long ago or just released a nostalgic retrospective, the Godfather of Heavy Metal has just released its twelfth studio record. While this release might not be able to compete with his early classics, it sounds surprisingly diversified, dynamic and entertaining and is his strongest solo output since at least Down to Earth nineteen years ago.

    This is especially due to Andrew Watt's involvement as a guitarist, motivator and producer who helped Ozzy Osbourne release his first solo record in ten years. He also managed to hire an astounding number of highly talented artists who certainly rate this album up. 

    Guns 'N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan offers a vibrant yet diversified performance as he shines in the heavier tunes but slows things down in the more introspective ballads. 

    Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith also unleashes some furious rhythms here and there while also stepping back and performing with much feeling in the slower tunes. 

    Guns 'N' Roses guitarist Slash appears on the surprisingly powerful and refreshingly contemporary opener ''Straight to Hell'' and the numbingly introspective ballad and title track ''Ordinary Man'' which can be considered highlights of this record. 

    Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello makes a refreshing appearance on one of the record's quirkiest and most experimental tunes entitled ''Scary Little Green Men''.

    Elton John is simply being himself performing vocals and piano on this release's nostalgic ballad 'Ordinary Man''. His style fits perfectly is this melancholic tune. His clean and smooth vocals complement Ozzy Osbourne's nasal and dramatic voice perfectly.

    Popular rapper Post Malone had invited Ozzy Obsourne to sing on his melancholic hit song ''Take What You Want'' last summer and has now returned the favour by appearing in the crazy, energetic and unpredictable ''It's a Raid'' that can be considered the album's most experimental tune that might be tough to digest at first contact but ends up being a solid grower.

    The most rewarding element is though that Ozzy Osbourne even manages to shine brightest when no guest musicians, rappers or singers are involved. Retrospective single ''Under the Graveyard'' is a song for the ages filled with stunning melodies, great lyrics and highly emotional vocals. The haunting contemporary sound effects blend in perfectly and contrast the more retrospective wild guitar solo that concludes the song on a high note. It starts as a fragile ballad but ends up being a progressively more unchained heavy metal anthem that touches your soul, heart and guts. This is easily the greatest song on the album and one of the best tunes in Ozzy Osbourne's outstanding career.

    Ozzy Osbourne deserves nothing but warmth, respect and recognition and the great things is that he is absolutely authentic, aware of his flaws and calls himself an ordinary man not because of a marketing strategy but because he truly believes it. If Ordinary Man were meant to be the last release in his career, it would certainly conclude it on a strong note. This album should appeal to fans of old date as well as to younger audiences. It's a strong heritage that will be remembered for years to come. Ozzy Osbourne might see himself as an ordinary man but he is a living legend and I wish him all the best.

    Final rating: 80%

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