|Review: Ozzy Osbourne - Black Rain|
Year released: 2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: June 6, 2007
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 3.2/5 (64%) (20 Votes)
It's been six years already since the horrible "Down to Earth", which I barely could stand listening until the end. Needless to say, I wasn't expecting much from this new album but, much to my surprise, nothing I heard here gave me the urge to puke. That's nice. The album has its annoyances and more than its share of average material, but overall it's quite listenable.
The occasional use of special vocal effects is by far the most annoying factor. Despite living a life that would long have killed most people, there are a few songs here that show that Ozzy can still pull it off vocally, but when they throw in those vocal effects, it takes away from what's good in his voice, for a very bland result. They should simply have left the vocals alone, there was no need for this (other than catering to a certain "modern" crowd, I guess.) Note that I'm not a fan of vocal effects in general.
Zakk Wylde's participation to the song writing let more of his Black Label Society persona show this time around, complete with the occasional Southern sound creeping in. Not my forte, but I'll gladly take that over the nu-pukish crap in "Down to Earth". Cool solo on "11 Silver". At times it almost feels like it's the 80s all over again - "Here For You" could very well have been released on one of his early albums. But overall the album is rather "modern" sounding; mostly in a good way but sometimes going overboard with the use of pseudo-industrial tidbits, albeit not to the point of ruining the songs.
Beside the fact that Ozzy can still sing, what's most amazing is how well he carries the vocal melodies that result in very catchy tunes, some sing-along inducing. Overall this is a rather catchy slab of lightweight metal that is unlikely to blow most people away - this is rather average after all - but it has enough good material to keep one entertained, especially those who felt let down by his material since the mid-90s.
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