A decade since 2010’s ‘Scream’. Recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s, Ozzy Osbourne has released his eleventh solo album.
The production here is flawless. If you’re a longtime listener you will hear some pleasant echoes of past glories.
Make no mistake this is Mr. Osbourne’s swan song. Being an iconic rocker is like performing the feats of Hercules albeit with the handicap of substance addiction.
Ozzy has been an open book during his career which has lasted for 50 years. His continuing struggles are once again part of his lyrics.
“Straight To Hell” serves to open the proceedings. Drug addiction takes center stage. The core of Ozzy’s adult life has been this threat of tragic end.
With a little help from his friends Slash & Duff McKagan (Guns N Roses) this is an ultimate warning. The high is short-lived; Hell will be the eternal destiny.
“All My Life” and “Goodbye” are tough to hear. Raw naked honesty from Ozzy about feeling like no matter what he always felt like he came up short in life.
Saying goodbye is the hardest task. Final farewells are something he had postponed for decades. Inspired by Post Malone, we get a sense this is really it.
The title track is another ballad in the style of ‘Goodbye To Romance’ off 1981’s solo debut “Blizzard of Ozz”.
Featuring Elton John, who shares Ozzy’s struggles with addiction, is pitch perfect.
Longing for redemption after decades of debauchery the plea is to not die an ordinary man.
“Under The Graveyard” is my personal favorite song on the album. A portrait of an addled existence full of self inflicted pain.
At 72 with the onset of his final challenge the lyrics make crystal clear how Ozzy feels about his mortality.
Even rock stars lose everything in the end. Yet he has been waiting for darkness for most of his career.
Every one of his recordings contains some cheeky wink as well to the devil inside.
Here we receive the invitation to consume the Ozman on ‘Eat Me’. Then even more dark humor on ‘Today Is The End’ and ‘Scary Little Green Men’.
On both tracks the sun is black and the sky is red. Is the sky falling? Can we escape our own destruction?
‘Holy For Tonight’ is a song of contemplating the end. Ozzy is not fearing his final days.
Just wondering what it will be like when it arrives. He is certain of one thing. It will be a long night. He hopes it can be holy.
The final song features Post Malone. A spirited rocker ’til the end, ‘It’s A Raid’, recalling the infinite moments of being caught with the goods.
Ozzy has been caught alright. In the crosshairs of addiction, fame, and death he will face it alone.
And with the millions around the globe whose love has been earned. This crazy train is about to pull into its final station.
Don’t be sad nor afraid. Just be happy Ozzy is still here making his music.