Ozzy Osbourne recently released Scream, his 10th studio album. The album features Gus G. on guitars but there are places that sound just like former player Zakk Wylde.
The album opens with "Let It Die" -- perhaps one of my favorite tracks on the album. There's a lot of energy on this song and I do like the guitar work here. I also like Ozzy's voice and the lyrics. "Let Me Hear You Scream" is also good, but the more I listen to it, I swear Ozzy's voice has been mixed to death by ProTools. The song is super commercial (think "No More Tears") and therefore sounds slick as ice.
At this point, the album sort of goes into "depressive, introspective mode." There's a lot of lyrics about death or dying or end of the road. Downtrodden themes to be sure -- but then Ozzy seems to pick up the pace, countering the sad messages with an urging to live life. The song "Life Won't Wait" is a good example of this.
"Soul Sucker" has some good guitar work but I did listen to the song six times in a row and could not repeat the lyrics back so that isn't a great sign. I think "Let Me Hear You Scream" and "Let It Die" are far more memorable.
If you like piano, you might like "I Want It More." This is one of those somber songs but I kept going back to it, meaning there's something there beyond a dark blue message. The arrangement is good and I like Ozzy's vocal tone here, too.
The album ends with "I Love You All" which sort of freaked me out: the way it is written, it's almost as if Ozzy is signing off for good. Sure, he could go into retirement fair and square...but he's the prince of darkness. Surely he's got a few more albums under his belt?
So, is Scream a masterpiece? No. But it is a strong record and metal fans will likely enjoy most of the tunes. Well worth a few bucks for some new music.