Wednesday, April 06, 2005

No More Tears - Ozzy Osbourne

I can’t write this afternoon, I have tried and tried and nothing’s happening so I have decided to review this here Ozzy Osbourne album since I said I would.

To be honest I found it a little boring. Boring in that I actually fell asleep while having it blasting pretty loudly through my headphones. It’s supposed to hard rock; I wasn't sure I would like it but I didn't anticipate boredom. I mean, it wasn’t really bad; it was quite comfortable to listen to and if it had been really dull I would have got up and done something else instead of just sitting and listening. I mean, I do have issues with falling asleep all the time. I nodded off during Dark Side of The Moon when I first listened to it.

Anyway, there are some catchy little riffs in there and this fellow Zakk Wylde, the guitarist, is something else; he made my ears prick up and listen a good number of times. I kind of wanted Ozzy to shut up so I could listen to an hour of this guy. But the orchestration from song to song is incredibly similar and dare I say it, decidedly unimaginative. Perhaps this is a problem with a genre I don’t know a whole heap about; perhaps any music which sits rigidly within one genre is apt to be rather samey. I don’t think the production quality on the CD helped although it’s allegedly re-mastered. Percussion sounded especially dodgy, rather light and tinny and my headphones are really very good.

I have decided that rhyming the words desire with fire is should be a Cardinal Sin, which is why U2 will burn in rock hell (actually U2 will smoulder pathetically rather than burn, rather like their music – no, not really). Anyway, the whole desire/fire faux-pas was committed liberally along with many others and I can’t say any of these lyrics moved me, even to amuse me. I don’t know why I bother criticising the guy’s lyrics when song titles include Zombie Stomp and Hellraiser. Although Hellraiser the song is better than the film which I saw for the first time the other day, but that’s because the film was utter pants except for the kinky fetish costumes, but I think perhaps that was the point.

No More Tears is probably the best track on the album, all seven minutes and twenty-four seconds of it. While I was checking the reviews of this before I bought it (for £2.50 plus a quid postage on eBay) someone compared it to Stairway to Heaven, but well, NO WAY. Still, it is kind of funky. I also like Zombie Stomp, despite the fact that it is everything you would expect from a song of that title and more besides.

Ozzy Osbourne’s voice falls a little short of dulcet and perhaps this was part of my problem. I didn’t realise that it was possible for a Midlands accent to come through so strong, but the guys voice reminds me of Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran. My goodness! That’s it! During the eighties you never saw Duran Duran and Black Sabbath in the same place at the same time, did you? Their lyrics, though rather different in content, were equally banal. You never saw Simon Le Bon and Ozzy Osbourne in the same place and indeed, the more that Osbourne has been on telly and stuff, the less you see or hear of Le Bon. I bet none of their tour dates have ever coincided. My gosh. Ozzy Osbourne is the satanic alter-ego of Simon Le Bon. What’s more, when writing about Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson once said;

"I send you herewith a Gothic gnome, interesting I think, and he came out of a deep mine, where he guards the fountain of tears."

Gothic gnome = Ozzy Osbourne! It all makes perfect sense. No wonder he has had such problems.

So in conclusion, I was not exactly bowled over by this supposed classic by Ozzy/ Simon, but it's not rubbish and I shall persist. I must admit now on the third or fourth time through and now I’ve woken up a bit, it is getting better. And if I have offended anyone’s ethical sensibilities by reviewing the guy’s work, here is a link to the Bat Conservation Trust just to show I care. If I have offended anybody’s musical sensibilities, then please don’t lynch me, bite my head off or pin me down and crimp my hair (which for some reason is what I imagine an enraged mob of Duran Duran fans would do).

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