“Ordinary Man” sounds as an almost epilogue, but Ozzy Osbourne takes advantage of his bad stage to make an album that is near to musical and creative perfection.
If one day I am at my worst moment and I have to make a summary of my life, I want to do something like this … I want to do it as Ozzy does reflecting his experiences, relationships and feelings in 10 + 1 songs. As a result we have “Ordinary Man” which I hope will take a place in history as one of the best works of the Prince of Darkness and not as his “last”. 2019 has been a very bad year for Ozzy, and this 2020 does not start much better, but it is great to se how Osbourne has managed to find gold, helped by huge musicians, friends and a fantastic production of a huge Andrew Watt.
“Ordinary Man” song by song
We start the album with the choirs of “Straight to Hell”, a great and interesting song born to sound in great stadiums and that rides perfectly on a rhythmic basis that as in the rest of the album is run by Chad Smith and Duff McKagan. Slash also leaves his mark on this song with an apocalyptic and at the same time brutal guitar sound.
“All my Life” is a much more personal part-time where Ozzy somehow appreciates the life enjoyed so far and the people around him. The song is based on simple stanzas, an interesting chorus and a compact and powerful string base.
“Goodbye” takes us to the other side of memories, to the darkest and hardest. To tell us this, Ozzy uses a slow and heavy song with a locked rhythm. But beyond the monotony this song is bringing surprises as it progresses to become a more than interesting subject.
“Ordinary Man” gives title to the album and at the same time earns an eternal place in our hearts. Ozzy Osbourne and Elton John hand in hand in a cut that again serves as a review of a lifetime full of excesses, joys and bad moments in the first person and where the personality of Elton’s piano and Ozzy’s voice converge to something “magical ” (I am writing this and I get the creeps)
“Under the Graveyard” manages to mount a hit in a mixture of almost macabre reflections that derive from the problems already discussed above. Musically it has everything to be a success with a base that works very well and a much more extreme moment in the middle of the song where Watt unleashes himself with the guitar.
“Eat Me” starts with a harmonica of blusera air, but a few seconds later Duff enters with his low pair making it clear that this is Heavy Metal on a track that sounds very much like Black Sabbath. If the previous court was macabre, this rubs almost the gore. Very good topic.
“Today is the End” is a roller coaster. The song unfolds by a dark atmosphere in general lines until it breaks into a chorus that almost touch the pop and that in the first listening leaves you quite shocked. It will not be a subject to everyone’s taste, but it has everything to be a hit.
And speaking about hits, wellcome to “Scary Little Green Men” where if Ozzy has tried to leave a message or memory, I’m sorry, but I have not been able to catch him. It is a great song in all the musical aspect, with a chorus of those who stay forever in your mind.
“Holy for Tonight” takes up the style of sincere and personal composition that marks this album supported by a very “The Beatles” sound creating another beautiful composition.
As we have reiterated throughout this review, Ordinary Man is full of songs based on real experiences, and be “It’s a Raid,” with rapper Post Malone is another one. As Ozzy explained, the song was inspired by a real raid that Osbourne accidentally caused himself by pressing an emergency button by accident during a drug-filled party at his stage in Black Sabbath. In this theme Malone adapts quite well and the end result is quite a result.
I would not say the same about the extra ball on the disc where the two against one of Rappers (Post Malone and Travis Scott) vs Ozzy is for the first. Despite starting with enthusiasm, the entire Malone / Scott sound artillery enters and the song fades away. In fact, this song already appeared on Malone’s last album, which is really an extra of this album, and not part of it.
In short, I think Ozzy has released one of his best solo works. When I hear it a torrent of feelings runs through me. Many times they are sad to perceive many of these songs as a farewell. Other times they are joyful but see that even in the worst moments, some are able to make the best of themselves.
I’m going to keep the latter and we will hope that our dear Madman manages to escape again from the traps that fate is preparing for him at this point.