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Black Rain
Ozzy Osbourne
Purchase Online
Reviewed: 6/13/2007 by Ryan

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While this doesn’t rock as hard as prior Ozzy stuff, it definitely rocks well. Ozzy does less screaming on his latest effort, maybe he can’t really do it anymore, I don’t know. Regardless, the man is still 61 years old, no matter when he’s released music it’s been current and timeless at the same time. This is Ozzy’s first original music since ’01, and although it’s not as heavy as his previous work, it’s arguably some of the best stuff he’s released in a long time. The only song Ozzy really gets loud on and let’s loose with is the opening track- “Not Going Away”, Ozzy’s vocals are outstanding on the track, and Zach Wylde has one of his better solos. For the most part this disc is more industrial than anything Ozzy has released; it’s not industrial, but it borders it. Different elements and qualities keep it from crossing over into the genre- namely Wylde’s guitar solos on a lot of tracks. The industrial elements are a welcome change though, but it’s kind of hard to call them that- think more along the lines of some underground stuff done in the 80’s and less along the lines of Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson. As for tracks on this album- there are some great ones. The aforementioned opener is awesome. The title track, “Black Rain” incorporates a weird southern atmosphere with a great song and even some eastern instruments. If it sounds weird, it’s because it is. If it sounds good, it’s because it’s good. “The Almighty Dollar” is one of the tracks that is right on the border between metal and industrial, and “11 Silver” is a straight-forward kick ass Ozzy song. Ozzy’s best work is behind him, but at this point he’s earned a free pass to do whatever he wants to do musically. If he wanted to release a metal album of public domain songs he could probably get away with it. The cool thing about Ozzy though is he doesn’t use that free pass, especially not on “Black Rain.” This is some of Ozzy’s best work in years, and while it doesn’t surpass his early work, it holds up to it.

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The Hold Steady (Mar 25)
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