Black Rain [Tour Edition]

Black Rain [Tour Edition]

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by Ozzy Osbourne
     
 

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To a certain extent, Ozzy Osbourne doesn't need to make new music -- and to a certain extent he hasn't, choosing to not record an album of original material in the years immediately after the reality TV show The Osbournes once again turned him into a household name. At the peak of Ozzy's fame in the early '80s, he was a boogeyman, embodying all the dangers of

Overview

To a certain extent, Ozzy Osbourne doesn't need to make new music -- and to a certain extent he hasn't, choosing to not record an album of original material in the years immediately after the reality TV show The Osbournes once again turned him into a household name. At the peak of Ozzy's fame in the early '80s, he was a boogeyman, embodying all the dangers of rock & roll, but the TV show made him safe, even cuddly -- a punch line at the White House Foreign Correspondent's Dinner -- which just helped him rake in the money, particularly since in addition to riding the wave of The Osbournes, his annual OzzFest tour turned into an institution of sorts, helping launch new bands while tending to his metal credibility. Now, that is a rock & roll machine, one driven entirely by personality, not new musical product, and one that was nearly in perpetual motion, never needing new grist for the mill to turn a profit. Yet there's always a risk that an enterprise like that could grow a bit stale, even with the occasional box sets, live albums, and cover records to keep things humming. And so, Ozzy finally got around to a new album original material, releasing Black Rain in the summer of 2007, a full six years after Down to Earth, his last album of originals, and well past the sell-by date of his TV show -- proof that this record isn't about cashing-in, it's about keeping the Osbourne machine rolling. Black Rain was released just a year and half before Ozzy's 60th birthday, and he does sound like a veteran -- he can't wail like he used to, opting for a lower-register growl, but perhaps the biggest indication that he's getting on in years is that he doesn't rock as hard as he once did. Sure, longtime axeman Zakk Wylde is here playing some mean guitar, but this isn't as heavy as he was even a decade ago, lacking both the gut-level punch and monster riffs of even his post-Randy Rhoads work. Certainly, this level of heaviosity is missed, but it's also true that if Ozzy really strived for a brutal attack he might wind up sounding older than he already does here, so hearing him ease into a hazily dark, vaguely psychedelic heavy rock as reminiscent of Lennon as it is of Sabbath is oddly appropriate. Nothing on Black Rain could really qualify as an Osbourne classic, but there's something curiously comforting about Ozzy relaxing a little bit and singing songs that are strangely age-appropriate -- something that's not respectable, necessarily, something that is still metal, but something that isn't quite as heavy as before, yet retaining that swirling, circular melodies and murky grind that has been his stock and trade for nearly 40 years. If the music feels a bit older, so do Ozzy's lyrics. He spends a startling amount of time addressing the ills of the world, ranging from terrorism to consumerism, and for once his fondness for gloomy doomsday imagery jibes with the conventional-held opinion of the state of the world (although he never gets as apocalyptic as Cormac McCarthy's The Road, or the Left Behind series, for that matter, which frankly is a relief). This unintentional zeitgeist piggybacking helps Black Rain feel timely and appropriate, which is a mildly shocking turn of events, and helps the album feel something closer to a work of art than a piece of product for the Ozz machine. It's hardly a perfect record -- producer Kevin Churko, who engineered Osbourne's Under Cover and also produced Cheap Trick's 2006 Rockford, has a long history of pop editing and engineering, including credits on Britney's Oops!...I Did It Again, Shania Twain's Up!, and Celine Dion's New Day Has Come, and all that history is evident in the album's slightly too punchy and precise sound. But even if Black Rain is a bit clean, a bit soft in the center, it's far from an embarrassment, and it's surprisingly likeable -- kind of like Ozzy himself in the new millennium, really, so it's nice that he finally has an album that lives up to his well-scrubbed, reputable persona. [A special tour edition of the album was offered in 2007.]

Product Details

Release Date:
11/20/2007
Label:
Epic
UPC:
0886972006321
catalogNumber:
720063
Rank:
59609

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Black Rain 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I looked forward to this album coming out, and im glad i did! Ozzy still has it in him! Zack Wylde is still hitting the sweet spots! The other dude that wrote a review that said he couldnt find a single good song is totally wrong. Every one of the songs are extremly awesome! I love ozzy's work, and this is just as good as his others! You NEED TO BUY IT!!!! you wont be dissapointed! I garuntee!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is ozzys latest studio album and i gotta say its pretty raw and all the songs on it are awesome praise ozzy osbourne for trying something new ozzy is one of the best guys in hard rock and heavy metal ozzy = the best of the best ozy osbourne has been my hero since i discovered him in black sabbath and black sabbath is a awesome band to ozy has always been around alot of talented people thruout his whole music career ozzy osbourne just rocks my socks off
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Ozzy! I love Black Rain! I love the song I Don't Want To Stop!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is some great music. I'm very suprised that he can put this good of music out since of his age and he use to do drugs all the time. I think this is his best album yet.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Since ozzy is gettin up there in age, he is never gonna replicate the music he had with randy rhodes (no matter how good zach wilde is). But this is deffinetly a ozzy osbourne record. I like every song and am just really impressed that ozzy can still put out new stuff that is not just listenable but good. I would recommend this to any ozzy fan or just any metal fan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Has a nice flow. Easy to rock-out to such a familiar voice. New listeners will like Trap Door with a newer sound. The rest is quintessential Ozz. You can visualize these new tracks live (coming to a stage near you) with The Ozz-Man stalking the stage and urging the crowd to "c'mon, let me hear you"!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Let me first say that I love Ozzy and was looking forward to his new album, but I could not find a single good song on it, although none of them are actually bad either. I suppose at 60 you are not going to be able to belt out a song like you could at 30, but his voice isn't really the problem..it's the songs that are lacking. When you listen to his duet with Lita Ford, "Close My Eyes Forever", "Mr. Crowley" or "Mama I'm Coming Home" you hear great songs that still sound great, but this material is not likely to please his old fans or attract the younger crowd. I think he should have found songs that are worthy of a true rock star, but perhaps great rock songs are getting harder to come by, especially if you are making silly TV shows instead of great Rock and Roll.