Ozzy Osbourne: Ordinary Man review – his final statement?

The elegiac lyrics on Osbourne’s 12th solo album stand in contrast with the off-the-cuff vibe of its music

Given his recent tribulations – notably his diagnosis with Parkinson’s – it’s hardly surprising that there is a sometimes elegiac feel to Ozzy Osbourne’s 12th solo album. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I gave my life a try / Forgive me, I didn’t say goodbye,” he sings on Goodbye. On the title track, a stately duet in the post-Beatles mould with Elton John, he opens with the observation “I was unprepared for fame / Then everybody knew my name”, before announcing “I don’t want to die an ordinary man” and “I don’t know why I’m still alive”.

Ozzy Osbourne: Ordinary Man album art work
Ozzy Osbourne: Ordinary Man album art work Photograph: Publicity Image

Still, given how many times he has appeared to be unable to carry on before, there’ll doubtless be another dozen records before he finally does pack it in.

Ordinary Man may have its lachrymose moments lyrically – albeit tempered by songs inspired by aliens (Scary Little Green Man), autocannibalism (Eat Me) and having to dispense with your cocaine because the police are visiting (It’s a Raid) – but that’s not true of the music. Instead of months in the studio with scores of session players, Ordinary Man was made in a few days with a core band of Duff McKagan, Chad Smith and Andrew Watt, who also produces. It sounds like it, in good and bad ways: there’s real urgency to Straight to Hell, but there are perhaps too few genuinely memorable songs. And the inclusion of last years’s Post Malone collaboration Take What You Want – Watt is rather better known for his work with Malone and Cardi B than for metal – is, frankly, baffling.


Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Ozzy Osbourne: Patient Number 9 review | Alexis Petridis's album of the week
The irrepressible rocker offsets his usual forays into the occult with moving contemplations of illness on a star-studded return

Alexis Petridis

08, Sep, 2022 @11:00 AM

Article image
Ozzy Osbourne undergoing 'intense therapy' for sex addiction
Black Sabbath singer says he is ‘mortified’ at what his behaviour has done to his family, following the exposure of his ‘relationship’ with a celebrity hairstylist

Guardian music

04, Aug, 2016 @7:48 AM

Article image
Ozzy Osbourne to retire from touring due to declining health
Former Black Sabbath singer says he has ‘come to the realisation that I’m not physically capable’ to deal with travel

Shaad D'Souza

01, Feb, 2023 @10:31 AM

Article image
Ozzy Osbourne reveals Parkinson's diagnosis
Black Sabbath frontman, 71, says 2019 was ‘most painful and miserable year’ of his life

Amy Walker

21, Jan, 2020 @3:56 PM

Article image
Ozzy Osbourne genome sequenced
Genetic analysis of Black Sabbath star reveals he is more likely to experience hallucinations on marijuana and has increased risk of alcohol and cocaine addiction, researchers say

Sean Michaels

05, Nov, 2010 @11:30 AM

Article image
Ozzy Osbourne: 'I had nothing to lose'
Rob Fitzpatrick: Sacked from Sabbath and battling addiction, Ozzy's career should have been dead. Then he met Randy Rhoads

Rob Fitzpatrick

16, Jun, 2011 @9:00 PM

Article image
Ozzy Osbourne to undergo major surgery ‘to determine rest of his life’
Wife Sharon Osbourne announces procedure, as rock star continues to experience difficulties after 2019 fall

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

13, Jun, 2022 @8:30 AM

Article image
Ozzy Osbourne sues Black Sabbath bandmate
The Prince of Darkness is suing fellow Sabbath founding member Tony Iommi for rights and royalties to the legendary metal moniker

Sean Michaels

01, Jun, 2009 @8:55 AM

Article image
Ozzy Osbourne promises final Black Sabbath album and tour in 2016
The confusion over the band’s drawn-out farewell continues with singer’s announcement of final tour for 2016

Guardian music

29, Apr, 2015 @8:09 AM

Article image
Ozzy Osbourne was the wild man of metal on stage – but vulnerability was his secret weapon
The Black Sabbath legend’s announcement at 74 that he will never tour again marks an end to the rabble-rousing live career of a singular rock star

Michael Hann

01, Feb, 2023 @4:20 PM