Review Summary: Is Ozzy's jump into modern metal worth checking out?
Many fans of the Prince of Darkness consider "Ozzmosis" to be the beginning of the end for his career. I don't know if this is just me, but I find this, as well as all of his albums that follow this, to be very underrated. It was the beginning of Ozzy trying to be more modern and trying to abandon the classic rock sound of his music to appeal to the new generation of metalheads.
That's where this album succeeds. Ozzy has always been very good at adapting to the evolving music industry. Many bands that have been around since the 70's and 80's and are still releasing albums today still sound like music that could have come from back then. It's not exactly a bad thing, but a lot of it sounds just too old to be relevant in the metal industry today, and when you compare "Ozzmosis" to his previous album "No More Tears" it is very clear to see that Ozzy knows how to sounds modern. Don't get me wrong, "No More Tears" is definitely a superior album. I'm simply using it as an example of how well Ozzy is able to modernize his music.
Time to talk about the tracks.
The opening track, "Perry Mason" is, simply put, very heavy. Opening with some orchestral tracks, and hitting you with Zakk Wylde's great as usual guitar work. After the second verse, something really hits you that makes this album worth while. A bass solo from the one and only Geezer Butler. The former Black Sabbath bassist puts his only mark on the only Ozzy solo album in which he appears, and it's great to have him. Geezer is my all time favorite bassist, and having him on this album is nothing less than a treat.
The following track, "I Just Want You" is the beginning of "Ozzmosis's" major flaw: an overabundance of slower ballads. It starts off heavy, but after that, it leaves you waiting for more of that. This and the following track, "Ghost Behind My Eyes" are very slow and completely contradict the opening track. They're not bad, but they don't exactly mix in very well with the heavier songs of the album. I can appreciate an album that has half soft, and half hard songs as longs as they can intertwine them well. This is not the case with "Ozzmosis". The slower songs mess up the flow of an otherwise rocking album.
"Thunder Underground" gives you another taste of heavy music, with some heavy, yet kinda quiet, guitar riffs throughout. The song isn't that fast paced, but it's still decently heavy. There is quite a big flaw with this track though. That is Ozzy's processed voice.
Now, his voice has been processed to be higher and to sound better for years prior to "Ozzmosis," but it gets kinda ridiculous how high they make his voice high to near chipmunk levels in this track. It certainly takes away from the quality of the track.
This is followed by yet another ballad in the form of "See You On The Other Side."
(Sidenote: I find that the opening drum and bass riffs remind me of a song from the video game "Doom." Doesn't effect how much I like the song, but I thought I'd just throw that out there)
I find this to be the best ballad on the LP. It has beautiful lyrics about the death of a friend or lover, and how he'll see them again once his time comes. It is just a very great sounding song overall, I'm not sure what else I can say.
"Tomorrow" starts off with more incredible bass work by Geezer Butler. The song itself is a curious case. It's is slow in the verses, but when the chorus hits you, boy oh boy does it hit you. They chorus is heavy work for every member of the band. From rocking guitar, to hard drumming, to Ozzy screaming. It is a fun track and one of my favorites on the album.
Next, oh look, two more ballads. Never saw this coming. "Denial" is not a great song. It has some half way decent lyrics, but Ozzy's vocals are not up to par in this.
"My Little Man" on the other hand, is pretty good. It has guest guitar work by Steve Vai, and was written for Ozzy's son, Jack when he was ten. This is a very pretty, sweet song with some meaningful, almost lullaby-ish lyrics. One of my favorites on the album.
"My Jekyll Doesn't Hide" is my favorite song on the album. It really shows the modernization of the heavier portions of the album as well as having some very interesting lyrics and unique vocal work that kinda reminds me of Ozzy's days in Black Sabbath.
The album ends on another ballad with "Old LA Tonight," the only song on the album that I truly do not like. This just breaks my personal boundaries on how slow an Ozzy song can be. That's just me though. It's just not my cup of tea.
Overall, "Ozzmosis" is not bad at all. It is a good, solid album with a fresh new sound for the aging rock legend and begins his long line of underrated LP's.