Ozzy Osbourne – Black Rain (2007)

Ozzy Osbourne - Black Rain (2007)

Ozzy Osbourne – Black Rain (2007, Epic)

  1. Not Going Away
  2. I Don’t Wanna Stop
  3. Black Rain
  4. Lay Your World On Me
  5. The Almighty Dollar
  6. 11 Silver
  7. Civilize The Universe
  8. Here For You
  9. Countdown’s Begun
  10. Trap Door

Band Lineup:
Ozzy Osbourne – Vocals
Zakk Wylde – Guitars
Blasko – Bass
Mike Bordin – Drums

Total Time – 46:28

Ozzy Osbourne official website

I picked this album up hoping that Ozzy made a good album. I wasn’t overly impressed with his last album, 2001′s DOWN TO EARTH, I thought it was average. I’ve been a fan of Ozzy solo since the beginning. I was a young Metalhead that believed Ozzy to be the craziest man in the world and that his music would always be “dangerous”. Not on this record and I’m disappointed. It’s not that BLACK RAIN is a bad album, it’s just average, nothing special after six years. BLACK RAIN had been streaming online over a month before release but I never checked it out. I heard the first single, ‘I Don’t Wanna Stop’, on the radio but I thought it was just OK. Again, nothing special.

The artwork is not the same, neither is the packaging. It’s exactly like the picture above except that the design is raised. It’s a basic cardboard digipak. Nothing in the middle, no booklet, and the titles/credits on the back cover. There was a code inside for my two free Ozzfest tickets though. I’d gladly trade my two seats for full-color artwork and a booklet.

The record kicks off with ‘Not Going Away’, a mid-tempo rocker that sounds more like Black Label Society/Zakk Wylde than Ozzy. It’s heavy but it doesn’t catch me right away. I did notice the autobiographical lyrics and the vocal enhancements Ozzy is using. ‘I Don’t Wanna Stop’ comes in and I immeadiately like it better than ‘Not Going Away’. Maybe I’m wrong about this single? It’s catchy Black Label with more autobiographical lyrics and vocal enhancements. We all know that Ozzy’s voice is shot, that’s clear when he plays live, but did he need that much studio magic?

I like the opening to ‘Black Rain’ until the harmonica kicks in and I immeadiately think of Warrant’s ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’. Don’t ask me why, it just happens. This is a good tune, sounds a little like classic ’80s Ozzy and that ain’t bad. I like the words here, a little inspriation from the Iraq War and the current state of political affairs in the U.S. ‘Lay Your World On Me’ is a very good ’80s-style ballad. Starts with a mellow drum beat and some haunting guitar and keyboards. Ozzy always puts in a good vocal for the ballads and this is no exception. reminds me of Motley Crue’s ‘Glitter’ from GENERATION SWINE. Same tempo, same vibe. So far this is my favorite track on the disc.

I don’t like the funky bass on ‘The Almighty Dollar’, it spoils my enjoyment of the song. More political commentary and vocal enhancers. Halfway through the album and I’ve accepted the fact that the Oz needs help vocally. This is another mid-tempo cruise, like ‘Not Going Away’. It’s OK but I want to Rock! ’11 Silver’ starts faster but Ozzy’s failing voice kills me. Stop the vocal tricks already and sing!

I like the main Wylde riff running though ‘Civilize The Universe’, another catchy Oz tune. By this time, it sounds like I’ve already heard this song before. Catchy but not memorable, not a classic. A fine solo by Wylde stuck smack in the middle. ‘Here For You’ is Ballad #2 and it’s another solid Ozzy ballad. Again, Oz sounds better singing a slow song rather a fast rocker. I like the piano and strings, very nice.

‘Countdown’s Begun’ features another monster BLS-styled main riff by Mr. Wylde. Ozzy sounds good here even though it’s a chugger. Another song that’s sounds like classic Ozzy. Wylde really impresses come solo time. ‘Trap Door’ has good music but the vocals and lyrics kill it, I’d prefer it as an instrumental definitely.

Bottom Line:
BLACK RAIN is being billed as “the true follow-up to NO MORE TEARS (1991)” but it doesn’t come close, I think OZZMOSIS (1995) is much better than this record. BLACK RAIN stacks up closer to DOWN TO EARTH, it’s decent but it doesn’t blow me away. And I expect to be blown away by Ozzy. I’ve been giving this non-stop play since I picked it up and nothing really jumps out as memorable. There are some good solid songs but the overall album screams mediocrity. After six years, I expected better. Favorite songs here: ‘Black Rain’, ‘Lay Your World On Me’, ‘Here For You’ and ‘Countdown’s Begun’. I’m also starting to like ‘I Don’t Wanna Stop’, probably due to the constant bombardment of local radio. I’m not done with this album yet. I’m going to keep it in my rotation and hope that it’s a grower. Maybe I’ll change my mind on a few songs.

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29 comments on “Ozzy Osbourne – Black Rain (2007)

  1. Funny, I was reading your review while listening to “Fearies Wears Boots”… Good times…

    Btw, the artwork on the Japanese import is a LOT better than the North American release. I wonder why they didn’t use the same… And the Japanese import has 2 more tracks as well…

    Anyway, I really like this album… Then again, I’m a huge BLS fan and this CD sounds like them… a LOT… Especially “Black Rain” and “I Don’t Wanna Stop”.

    My fav is definitely “Not Going Away”… The bass is amazing on this one…

    I think this is the most BLS sounding Ozzy album yet… For me, it’s not a bad thing but I understand why some people are missing the “old” Ozzy…

  2. I’ve heard this album a few times now and I have to agree that I find it largely disappointing. There is little of the old magic left now and a suspicous amount of effect placed on the vocals in places as well. Nothing stuck in my head after listening and that is unusual from an Ozzy effort. This falls way short of his previous work and my expectations of a rock legend.

  3. I liked it more that I probably should have. Its a solid effort, but is not better than anything he has done in the past. I like this one better than Down to Earth, but that is about it.

  4. I have heard enough negative reviews to say that I won’t be buying it. It will show up in the used bargain bin at my local for like $6 in afew months. I can get it then if I really want to.

  5. Patrice – I agree, very Black Label-ish. I’m not a huge fan of BLS but I seem to have all the albums. I also agree on the artwork, better on the Japanese.

    Rock Of Ages – I keep listening but it still bores me, it will be out of the rotation quick.

    Hard Rock Hideout – I had high expectations but I think it came up way short. In the long run, I think I might like it better than DTE but, for now, I call those two albums even. Glad you enjoy it.

    Suzy – He used to, now he plays it safe.

    Metal Mark – Definitely wait and pick it up used.

  6. Pingback: Reissue Report: Ozzy Osbourne to reissue Black Rain as a 2 CD Tour Edition on 11/20/07, pre-order available « Heavy Metal Addiction

  7. You kinow i have always wondered how it would feel to put so much work into an album and then have people tear it apart. Well i think that it was the best and I will be his fan till the end no matter what people say. Yiou Rock Ozzy.

  8. While this album is all right, it’s certainly not my favorite of Ozzy’s. My favorite, I think is No More Tears. And while there IS a “Limited Edition” jewel case that actually IS a jewel case, this cardboard case thing, while a step in the “different” direction, doesn’t tickle my fancy. I think it’s sort of cheap, especially when put on a shelf. This album seems too synthesized for me, though. Too modern. I liked his old stuff, No More Tears, Bark At the Moon, much more than his stuff today. Not Going Away and Countdown’s Begun are my picks on this album. That’s probably about it.

  9. Pingback: The 5 Worst Albums of 2007 « Heavy Metal Addiction

  10. que viva el rock por ciempre ¡¡¡¡

    woooooo

    larga vida al rock es lo mejor ¡¡¡¡¡

    the rock is the law ¡¡¡¡¡

  11. I think the albums another ozzy master piece. Listen to the lyrics they depict his life today. I hope he never goes away and never stops. Seen him for the first time in brisbane. He is the greatest

  12. yeah! lo mejooor ozzy osbourne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    heey vino a chile !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    F e R!

  13. for all those people with negative reviews i really like Ozzy and this album sounds more modern yeah because he sings about things that are going on right now the war in iraq and stuff but hey i don’t think most of you guys would sing like ozzy when you’re 59
    keep rocking Ozzy

  14. Nic – That’s the thing, he’s 59 and NOT singing, he’s using vocal enhancements. All Oz has to do is keep standing there onstage and let Zakk do the vocals, its the same thing!

  15. ami me encanta el rock kisiera ser el megor guitarrista de l mnundo0 misueño es ese kisiera tocar hevi metal pero nunca etenido0 una guitarra

  16. ozzy r not like the other metal or rock band he is different and his work are classical
    i think the best song of ozzy is mama im coming home.

  17. Pingback: Four Year Blog-versary: another year of Metal « Heavy Metal Addiction

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