Ozzy Osbourne
Ordinary Man


3.3
great

Review

by Simon K. STAFF
February 22nd, 2020 | 97 replies


Release Date: 02/21/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Do they sell tea in Heaven?

Ozzy’s twelfth studio album is drenched in the macabre; Ordinary Man is an intensely poignant, self-referencing analysis on his accomplishments, mistakes, and the intense love he has for his family and friends. The thing is, while he affirms all the highs and lows of his life on this record, he constantly references his own imminent death. Ordinary Man mirrors the same hazy deadweight that hangs on the shoulders of David Bowie’s Blackstar, the only difference between the two LPs is that Ozzy takes those themes of reflection, what we leave behind, and the constant awareness of death looming over him and intensifies it with a more overt, almost blasé taunt to Death himself. If it wasn’t for Ozzy’s humorous charm all over this thing, I’d have probably been reduced to tears at times. Indeed, thematically, I haven’t been this moved by a record before or since Blackstar, nor did I really expect to find it in an Ozzy Osbourne album. But when you sit and think about it, as sad as it is to say, Ordinary Man could well be the last album we get from the seventy-one-year-old Prince of Darkness, and I surmise Ozzy knew that when he was writing the LP.

Lathered in contemplation, almost every song here touches on his inner demons, haunted mistakes, addictions, death, and his legacy. The heart-wrenching musings on “All My Life” where he reflects on his loneliness, alcoholism, and missed opportunities, before finishing off with “Heaven can take me, but no one can save me from Hell again, you'll never erase me, I'm back on the road again” – a lyric I can only assume references the eternal legacy he’ll leave behind once this album/tour cycle sees itself out. “Goodbye” literally embraces and accepts the afterlife, as he laments “I say goodbye to romance, yeah goodbye to friends, I tell you. Goodbye to all the past, I guess that we'll meet, we'll meet in the end”. While Ozzy ponders on what his final thoughts will be just before his soul egresses his body on “Holy for Tonight”. Ruminations of life and death are ubiquitous in Ordinary Man, they aren’t a cheap afterthought and they maintain their dominance throughout – which is why it’s a shame to report the instrumentals bring a disparity to Ozzy’s endeavours.

Instrumentally and compositionally the album is a scattershot of ideas that lack the cohesion, sophistication and presentation David Bowie’s last album claims to possess. The ballads are the most effective and tightly written pieces on Ordinary Man, while the Black Label Society-esque sludge riffs on “Eat Me”, “Today Is the End” and “Goodbye” (ironically not performed or written by Zakk) bring the relevant tools to the table. But there’s just so many sloppy transitions dotted around most of the tracks here – like “Goodbye”’s high-octane chorus – that it makes things difficult to catapult Ozzy’s meaningful lyrics into the stratosphere. The awful Travis Scott guested “Take What You Want”, Ozzy’s flat and generic melodies on “Scary Little Green Men”, or the derivative and corny “Straight to Hell” does little to gel this album together or make it the accolade it should have been. There’s a lot of guests on this album and it brings a heterogeneous quality to Ordinary Man, but for the most part this aspect turns detrimental to the overall vision. Ozzy should have banded together a small fixture of musicians for the album and ran with a consistent tone that would see his mantra through to the end. Unfortunately, the end result is an engrossing number of tales written and smothered by slapdash and generic songwriting, which is a damn shame when you look at the bigger picture.

FORMAT//EDITIONS: DIGITAL/̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶/̶/̶V̶A̶R̶I̶O̶U̶S̶ ̶B̶U̶N̶D̶L̶E̶S̶

PACKAGING: N/A

SPECIAL EDITION: N/A

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://store.ozzy.com/



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user ratings (159)
2.9
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2020


16382 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

he almost had it here

Digging: Paradise Lost - Obsidian

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2020


13929 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I'll listen to the album today during my weekend trip to the countryside, but from what I've read and the songs I've heard, expectations aren't high.



Pleasant reading Dr. I liked the way you privileged the lyrics and mood of the album over of a more musical / instrumental analysis.

Digging: Sorcerer - Lamenting of the Innocent

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2020


19637 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Top rev as always doc.



I am checking this now cause yeah, like you said, it very well might be his last.



I just hope it doesn't make me... defecate.

Digging: Cressida - Cressida

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2020


11938 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Love Ozzy but I'm not a big fan of this one, even though my expectations were low. He had the chance to work with Zakk Wylde or Gus G and chose some random dude. Also, Post Malone, wtf?



Anyway, cool review as always Gonzo, hope I had enjoyed this one more haha.

Digging: Gullinbursti - Mythical Metallurgy

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2020


19637 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah had to stop at Elton John. I mean this sounds like an album made by everyone around him but without him.



Like manosg said, should have called the old guard and keep it simple.

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2020


13929 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

"I just hope it doesn't make me... defecate."

Hahah

wham49
February 22nd 2020


5274 Comments


reading this review also makes me think of when I listened to Bad Magic the day it came out. The sympathy for The Devil closer was hard to listen to,

as far as the guest-stars go, it is a typical post Ultimate Sin move by his wife to wring out every last cent out the man


sucks Ozzy had to cancel the tour, was going to go see him at Summerfest in Milwaukee

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2020


16382 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Thanks guys.



And agreed with all criticisms. The best part is a lot of the guitar playing sounds like zakk which I found really jarring lol

Pangea
February 22nd 2020


4039 Comments


I'm curious about this. Not expecting much though

Digging: Woods - Strange To Explain

Titan
February 22nd 2020


20467 Comments


Thanks for the good read Doc

But post Ozzmosis (really No More Tears) Ozzy doesn't stand a chance in my rotation

Still love the guy though

WatchItExplode
February 22nd 2020


8117 Comments


Does anyone know if Oz actually wrote lyrics here? I didn't think he did, which would make things that much more sad.

teamster
February 22nd 2020


4914 Comments


Just awful. Are we listening to the same album?

Digging: The Basement Paintings - Antipodes

DarkNoctus
February 22nd 2020


11073 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

this was fucking dreadful



i actually thought under the graveyard was pretty good but all the other tracks just miss the mark completely, it just screams tacky

Digging: Mountaineer - Bloodletting

butt.
February 22nd 2020


7423 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yikes the title track is hot garbage



Some other tracks not too bad tho

JWT155
February 22nd 2020


14559 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Eh I couldn't help but think throughout this record that if someone didn't know of Ozzy they'd think this was a complete disaster.

heck
February 22nd 2020


4595 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't think it was fair to mention Take What You Want as a negative, since A. it's a bonus track and B. it's not even an Ozzy song, it's that Post Malone song feat. Ozzy and Travis that got popular. it's pretty much just there for The Kids who might buy the album because they heard Ozzy on a Post song.



anyway, I have to give him credit, this is probably the best album he's released since the 90s. actually reminds me of Ozzmosis more than anything else in his catalog.

DarkNoctus
February 22nd 2020


11073 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

it's a bonus track that comes with like, every version, so it's practically a part of the record

heck
February 22nd 2020


4595 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's a dumb marketing tactic but it's still not a part of the album proper

alamo
February 22nd 2020


2765 Comments


i had some expectations after the two initial singles

this tracklist scares me

MrSirLordGentleman
February 22nd 2020


13290 Comments


"I mean this sounds like an album made by everyone around him but without him."

Is this a Gorillaz thread



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