Ozzy Osbourne - Scream CD Review (Epic Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, August 06, 2010

Ozzy Osbourne - Scream CD Review (Epic Records)

Ozzy Osbourne - Scream CD ReviewEarlier this summer, Ozzy Osbourne released his 10th studio album, Scream. This isn’t the ‘return to form’ that some claim but this is the best that Ozzy has sounded in years.

When reading earlier reviews of this disc, a lot of internet chatter has focused around Ozzy swapping out guitarist Zakk Wylde for little-known guitar player Gus G. I don’t think this swap was the key reason for Ozzy’s revitalized sound as I don’t hear a significant difference between Gus and Zakk’s playing; Ozzy may have just wanted the fresh blood. The sound of this disc was shaped by co-writers Kevin Churko (who produced this disc and 2007’s Black Rain) and Adam Wakeman (who co-wrote five of the disc’s eleven tracks).

Producer Kevin Churko retains some of the industrial leanings of Black Rain but Scream is a darker album than its predecessor. Churko rounds this out by giving a high-gloss finish to the disc’s arena-rock power metal anthems, sludgy nu-metal rawk and (the expected) ballads. This is a heavily commercial album but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Let’s face it – Ozzy’s menacing, p*ssing on The Alamo days are long past.

The first single from this disc is a fist-pumping, pounding rocker, “Let Me Hear You Scream”, which should make for both an FM-radio and concert staple for years to come. The current single, “Life Won’t Wait”, is a by-the-numbers power ballad which is carried by strong layered vocals from Ozzy. There are a couple of sludgy, almost Rob Zombie-ish numbers (“Soul Sucker”, “Latimer’s Mercy”) scattered across the disc but these are balanced by the ballads “Time” and the mostly instrumental “I Love You All”.

I remember sitting in the Brooklyn Brewery early one Saturday afternoon in 2007 and they announced that they had a pair of OzzFest tickets, free to any takers. While there were no takers then, I don’t think that would be the case now. Ozzy sounds revitalized on Scream and this disc will go a long way toward revitalizing his fan base.

Ozzy Osbourne