Sound — 9
Ozzy's tenth studio album as a solo artist is entitled Scream, and it is sure to be a fan pleaser. Produced by Ozzy and Kevin Churko, Scream has aspects reminiscent of Ozzy's vast catalog of music in addition to several modern rock facets such as the folksy acoustic shading of Gus G.'s guitar chords in Life Won't Wait and his sharp, biting shreds canvassing Crucify. Ozzy is known for catapulting underground guitarists into stardom such as Randy Rhoads and Zakk Wylde in the past, and his choice for Gus G. On the recording is a significant asset. Combined with the fierce pounding of Tommy Clufetos' drums and the throbbing grumbles of Blasko's bass all gilded in haunting effects supplied by keyboardist Adam Wakeman, Scream bridges elements of Goth and experimental rock with melodic versing to make for an album that is all substance. No doubt everyone will interpret Scream differently but some vital points are the staunch hammering of Clufetos' drums in Let Me Hear You Scream, the thundering gusts kicked up by Gus G.'s guitar in Soul Sucker, and the build up and exhalation of voluminous chords and vibrating crescendos along Life Won't Wait, which could be one of the most effective pieces on the recording because of its multi-textures and treatment of dynamics as the progressions peak and retract. There are some aspects which might not be characteristic of Ozzy's Lord of the Darkness image like the misty billows of the guitar chords grazing across Diggin' Me Down and the lilting strings looming over his vocals in I Love You All, which caps the album in a sweet missive to his audience. Some traits will make fans feel like this is the same Ozzy who wrote Crazy Train, and at other times, you'll know that he has out-grown who he was during his Bark At The Moon phase.
Lyrics — 8
Some lyrics are typical of Ozzy like in Crucify when he takes on the role of a hedonist, Give me your money / I'll sell you my boat / I'll promise you I'll take you / While I'm cutting your throat / You want to feel pleasure / Look into my eyes / I'm gonna swear on the Bible while I'm feeding you lies. If you have ever seen The Osbournes TV-show, you would know that Ozzy is one of the most upfront and honest individuals you could ever meet, but with lyrics like these, you would doubt your own judgment. Ozzy likes to peel away at the human mask especially when it is a farce to appear good-willed, so the general theme in his words seem to be motivated by the urge to reveal acts of trickery and deception. Other lyrics make a desperate plea for help like in Diggin' Me Down when he asks, Where are you father / Why don't you save us How long must we keep on waiting. He matures from the cries of a child to becoming a person in charge of his own destiny in Time as he instructs, Time has come for you to make up your own mind Time waits for no one Stop living in your dreams. This track has the potential of becoming an anthem, though it is Let Me Hear You Scream that was written to galvanize arena sized audiences.
Overall Impression — 9
After forty plus years of Ozzy's music, it would not be surprising if Scream was hailed as a welcoming addition to Ozzy's catalog. Afterall the fans that started with him have grown up with him. The album has bite and charring edges along with melodically groomed verses. Ozzy kept true to his rock roots on Scream and has even grown some in the aftermath of his previous nine solo records. Scream ventures out somewhat while keeping a foot solidly on home turf.