Next up on my Ozzy Osbourne album review journey... 2007's 'Black Rain.'
Ozzy Osbourne — vocals.
Zakk Wylde — guitars, keyboards, backing vocals.
Rob "Blasko" Nicholson — bass.
Mike Bordin — drums.
'Black Rain' released on May 22nd, 2007 is Ozzy Osbourne's tenth solo album. The record sold about 152,000 copies within the first week, hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart, and was also certified as gold. Not bad I'd say.
The record contains one of Osbourne's more recognizable tunes from the latter half of his career "I Don't Wanna Stop." The album features Zakk Wylde, one of Ozzy's most beloved guitar pairings who is currently touring with Ozzy on his No More Tours 2 endeavor.
Similarly to my previous review, this album definitely isn't listed at the top of my Ozzy favorites. Compared to Ozzy's other works, 'Black Rain' is a pretty average record, including both fast and heavy tracks that have hard metal based riffs like "I Don't Wanna Stop", "The Almighty Dollar", "Not Going Away", and more. It also has it's fair share of Ozzy's signature ballads like "Lay Your World On Me", and even the title track "Black Rain" which takes on a slower form.
Also, just like 2010's 'Scream', Ozzy's vocals on 'Black Rain' are also very robotic, computerized, and animatronic sounding; not like the clean clear vocals from earlier records like 'Blizzard of Ozz.' It seems in Osbourne's later records (understandably so as voice range changes with age), he takes on a new form of singing. Still recognizable as Ozzy, but different from his early to mid 80's recordings, and especially different from his vocal stylings with Black Sabbath. It's definitely interesting to hear the changes between his first solo records to now. Not necessarily bad, but different.
The record definitely has a lot of Zakk Wylde influence and many songs on this record could without a doubt be seen on a Black Label Society (Wylde's own creation) record. I definitely believe without Wylde's strong influence, this album would've turned out with a much different sound as Wylde does add a heavier tone to Ozzy's catalog.
Overall, I don't believe that this record is down right awful as some reviewers upon it's release stated, but it is definitely not one of my favorites as I stated above. I feel like it was the beginning of the only sound Ozzy can really create nowadays. Robotic, 'industrial' sounding tracks that lack any real originality as discussed in my first review of 'Scream'. But, I can't help but state in Ozzy and co's defense that the likelihood of any song on any new record gaining the traction and love of some of his biggest hits along the likes of 'Crazy Train', 'Bark At The Moon', or 'No More Tears', (take your pick), isn't very high especially in today's musical climate where rock does not rule mainstream culture as it once did. I think the lack of overall popularity of his more recent records is also evident as a majority of the time Ozzy doesn't reach for hardly any of these tracks when curating the setlist for his live performances. He mostly focuses on songs that rank as fan favorites, which aren't many songs from these later records.
All in all, although 'Black Rain' isn't quite up to par with some of the Prince of Darkness' biggest records, if you're into rather heavy tracks, Zakk Wylde, and rather obscure tunes, this record is for you.
HIGHLIGHTS: "I Don't Wanna Stop" (undoubtedly the best song on the record in my opinion, a song I actually reach for from time to time), "Not Going Away", "The Almighty Dollar".
RATING: 🤘🏼🤘🏼🤘🏼/ 5.
BLACK RAIN TRACK LISTING:
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
Go ahead, give this record a listen, and feel free to leave a comment below of your own take on Ozzy Osbourne's 2007 release, 'Black Rain'!
COMING SOON... a review of Ozzy's 2005 release 'Under Cover.'
WHAT IS FAREWELL TO OZZY?
Earlier this year when the Prince of Darkness announced the start of his final tour, ‘No More Tours 2’, I decided that it would only be right to commemorate Osbourne’s iconic and legendary career in some way. During a conversation with my dad (who is even more rock obsessed than me and has been following Ozzy's career for decades now), I decided that I would revisit and review each and every one of his records (in reverse), starting from 2010’s ‘Scream’ all the way back to Ozzy’s 1980 debut ‘Blizzard of Ozz' to show how Ozzy's music has developed from his most recent works, all the way back to without a doubt one of the pinnacles and peaks of his career.