The Record Music Magazine
Record Rating: ***

OZZY OSBOURNE - BLACK RAIN Ozzyís back! That sweet demented real-life Prince of Darkness is back with a long-awaited follow-up to cult hit Down To Earth (2001). A lot of artists take pride in changing their sound, reinventing themselves every now and then ~ not this man though. He finds new and usual ways to please his fans, and they love every minute of it. Well, mostly. I loved listening to this album the first time I got it. Things changed later, but Iíll get to that in a bit.

The concept for the album came from a documentary that Ozzy saw on TV about the rain that followed in the aftermath of a nuclear explosion. The black rain appeared normal to people, but it carried the ashes of those whoíd perished in the explosion. Considering the state of the world, it was a very relevant topic, and Black Rainís tracks attempt to explore war, greed and society.

Of course there are tracks that donít quite belong like Lay Your World On Me and Here By Me which are more personal and actually written for Sharon Osbourne. Songs like Not Going Away and I Donít Wanna Stop also get personal, but they convey, rather well actually, Ozzyís intent in the industry.

Itís got everything thatís Ozzy on it. His unique vocals, Zakk Wyldeís riffage and artificial harmonics, and Mike Bordinís thumping beats. But while thatís what is right with the album, in a strange dichotomy thatís also whatís wrong with the album. After a point you almost predict what the vocals, guitars and beats are going to sound like and thatís rarely a good thing. Lyrically this is one of Ozzyís weakest works, and Iím hoping for a return to form in his next album at least. Still, the most heartfelt of tracks shine, and I know he means it when he sings ĎI donít wanna stop.í

Read our other reviews:

Traveling Wilburys - The Traveling Wilburys Collection       Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full       Bon Jovi - Lost Highway       Velvet Revolver - Libertad      


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