Released: Jun 22, 2010
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal
Label: Epic Records
Number Of Tracks: 11
Although much of Ozzys new album Scream does feel single-driven, there are moments that recall the Prince of Darkness's heyday.
UG Team, on june 22, 2010 5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: Ozzy Osbourne has become as much a reality show icon as a heavy metal trailblazer since the early 2000's, so it's always interesting (and a little nerve-wracking) to hear what musical direction the Prince of Darkness is about to take particularly at the age of 61. The most notable transition that Osbourne has made for his 10th studio album Scream is replacing his right-hand man Zakk Wylde with Firewind guitarist Gus G. Although one might assume that the seamless technical work of Gus G might alter the overall sound of Ozzy, Scream actually is still actually on par with a good deal of the frontman's contemporary work with Wylde. In the end Scream seems to be the brainchild of writer/producer Kevin Churko (the man also responsible for 2007's Black Rain), and he does stick with a fairly tried-and-true musical formula.
If there is one standout aspect of Scream, it's the fact that Ozzy's vocal ability is still eerily consistent with his past work. Some singers' style/strength wanes as the decades pass, but Ozzy impresses time after time. Churko's songwriting suitably fits Ozzy's style, but in the same breath it never feels overly inspired. Some material on Scream specifically Let Me Hear You Scream and I Want More does feel a bit cookie cutter in its approach. The choruses are most definitely hummable and you can be guaranteed that radio DJs will churn them out regularly, and in reality that's not the worst thing in the world. For Ozzy, a cornerstone of metal, you just wish for something a bit more.
Scream does contain standout tracks that evoke old school Ozzy. Soul Sucker, with a sludgy guitar riff and generally ominous sound, is without a doubt the best track on the CD. The sinister, playfully evil Latimer's Mercy could go toe-to-toe with plenty of Ozzy's material from the 1980's or early 1990's. Gus G, who slings out plenty of riffage, does an excellent job of never alienating the fans who may have been offended by Ozzy and wife's decision to replace Wylde. There is little to complain about with the guitars in general, with Soul Sucker actually sounding like it could be the product of a Black Label Society songwriting session. // 7
Lyrics: With the exception of songs like Latimer's Mercy or Soul Sucker, Scream rarely delves into traditionally darker themes. The Ozzy of 2010 instead opts to reflect on dishonesty in religious leaders (Crucify), spirituality in general (Diggin' Me Down), and living life to the fullest (Life Won't Wait, Time). While it's easy to pine for a bit more wickedness, reality shows and the passing of time really no longer makes that a viable option. The most cryptic (and brief) lyrical content arrives in the final track I Love You All. Ozzy basically conveys what the title suggests, sending a big thank-you to his dedicated fans as his musical career winds down. // 9
Overall Impression: It's difficult not to yearn for the darker side of Ozzy, and Scream satisfies that need occasionally. Diggin' Me Down features a riff that is derivative of Black Sabbath and Soul Sucker certainly fits the bill musically and lyrically. The CD is heavy on Ozzy's more pensive side, which is likely more fitting for the man at this stage in the game anyway. Scream does top the material heard on Black Rain, but it still seems to get caught up in the Billboard singles game. // 8
sweetpeasuzie, on june 25, 2010 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 9
Lyrics: 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. // 8
Overall Impression: 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. // 9
SawGuru, on june 28, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Upon first listen to Ozzy's new album, 'Scream', fans will notice that the sound of this album is a little clearer than that of his previous effort, 'Black Rain'. This sound quality and clarity of guitar tone gives this album an edge over it's predecessor, though it is easily noted that this album is definitely 'Black Rain' Pt. 2.
Gus G's guitar tone is great on this album. The new guitarist, previously of Firewind fame, has brought some of his style to this album, but mostly maintains the parts that Zakk Wylde previously wrote for this album. Some shining moments include his melodic guitar solo on 'Let It Die' and the near thrash riff in the verses of 'Diggin Me Down.' The latter is possibly the strongest track on this album overall.
Blasko's bass riffs in this album very much resemble the past album. Songs such as 'Soul Sucker', 'Let Me Hear You Scream,' and 'Latmier's Mercy' could easily pass as 'Black Rain' b-sides. However, they are still decent. 'Latimer's Mercy' is heavily driven by Blasko's deep underlying bass with an overlay of Gus G's dissonant chord arpeggios, creating one of the darkest tracks on the album. // 6
Lyrics: Ozzy is getting old, and has done about all he can lyrically and melodically, and this album showcases. Many of the melodies are recycled from the past few albums, as well as the lyrics heavily appearing as if they were written for alternative takes of 'Black Rain' songs. As a loyal Ozzy fan, it pains me to say this, but he holds this album back.
Lyrically, the songs are the same themes as 'Black Rain.' Most of the songs revolve around Ozzy wanting to fix past mistakes in his personal life, address his drug addiction, or combine the two. The one track that stands out lyrically is 'Diggin Me Down.' This track is likely the most thought out, well written song on the album for Ozzy. It addresses personal struggle with faith and shows a deeper connection between Ozzy and his songwriting than has been seen in many albums. // 4
Overall Impression: Overall, the sound of this album is good as long as you were a fan of 'Black Rain.' The lyrics are, for the most part, just as weak as 'Black Rain' was, and Ozzy is trying to hold strong without out adding any dynamics to his melodies or lyrics. Even if you weren't a 'Black Rain' fan, this album does have some new musical elements to offer. Many of the songs are a much cleaner, darker sound than 'Black Rain' could boast, setting 'Scream' aside as the darker half of what could easily be considered a double album set. In all likelihood, Gus G will get to truly showcasing his songwriting on a follow up to this album, should Ozzy have another album in him after this one. While the album is definitely worth a listen, I wouldn't buy it if the price went over $10. // 5
arg_89, on july 05, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: 01. Let It Die: starts out with a heavily distorted guitar with a cool bass line, followed by a cool little riff and a mediocre solo. Then things slow down and get heavy as we hear Ozzy's voice for the first time, although very distorted and produced sounding. After the verse, Ozzy goes right into the chorus, which sounds like something that has only progressed slightly from Black Rain. Later in the song, we get to the main solo. Cool sounding solo but nothing earth-shattering from Gus G on this first main solo of the album. After the solo, things pick up again with an interesting faster riff, then back into the chorus once more. Solid opening to the album.
02. Let Me Hear You Scream: this one starts hard and heavy with a nice little intro solo from Gus. This track features some cool guitar fills. I have to admit, the lyrics on this one are a littlecorny. A bit of a switch from listening to classic Prince of Darkness' lyrics. They almost sound like something out of a high school cheer. The one thing that does make up for it slightly is Gus's guitar playing. The main solo is very fast and technical. Very well done. Back into the chorus once more and that's all she wrote for this one.
03. Soul Sucker: starts out with a very heavy and distorted riff. This song has some good, classic, Oz-Man style lyrics in it. Very heavy and well written chorus on this track. This song also features a great breakdown in the middle of the song, followed by a bridge from Ozzy and then a short, but very fast and technical solo from Gus. Very strong track and one of the album's best.
04. Life Won't Wait: the album switches direction with an acoustic intro for Life Won't Wait. The verses are played through either a clean sounding guitar or an acoustic, while the chorus switches over to a slightly heavier and more distorted guitar. The verse lyrics are pretty decent, but the chorus lyrics leave something to be desired. There are a few bright spots of guitar playing in this song. Again, the solo is solid with lots of fast technical stuff.
05. Diggin Me Down: here again for the second song in a row, we see an acoustic intro, this one being better than the first though. Very nice sounding. But then, with a few strums of a couple ominous sounding chords, things start to get a little darker, and all of a sudden, we rip into a heavy distorted riff from Guss accompanied by some pounding drums. Great start to the song. This song also sets up well for Ozzy's vocal style. This song also features some great, dark lyrics similar to the classic Ozzy we all know and love. This one also features a great solo that's starts out more melodic than fast and ends with a couple fast runs.
06. Crucify: this one also features some pretty decent lyrics from Ozzy. Nothing spectacular to speak of from the guitar playing until about halfway through the song. The lead into the solo is very good and nice and heavy. Again, the solo is fast and impressive and it sounds like we hear some of Gus's tapping skills, but once again, the solo is fairly short.
07. Fearless: this one starts with a heavy smack in this face from the guitar part. The verse is nothing special but does feature a few good guitar fills from Gus. The chorus is pretty heavy with some simple, but effective guitar playing from Gus. This track is nothing real special. Just a filler track in my opinion.
08. Time: the beginning of this song sounds like a slow, sub-par intro to an 80s pop song. Not much to say about this one. Kinda disappointing. Nothing too special or noteworthy about it. Only thing positive from this song is a very strong guitar solo which is also a bit longer than the previous solos. Probably my least favorite song on the album.
09. I Want It More: this one starts out with a very eerie, piano part, which then progresses into a heavy, in your face guitar riff. This one features some great guitar playing from Gus: heavy riffs, cool fills, and a great solo. The guitar part leading into the solo feels like a kick right to the face. This is followed by a face melting solo and some very crunchy rhythm guitar playing. Then, when least expected, we fade back into the piano that we heard at the beginning, but Ozzy is just messing with you, and back into the heavy riffage we go. This track is perhaps the best on the album.
10. Latimer's Mercy: again, we start out with some very heavy, eerie sounding guitars. The vocals on this track are once again very over-produced feeling, at least during at the very beginning of the track. Nothing too technical or flashy from the guitar part in the way of riffs or fills. Solo is very heavily distorted and fairly well done. Nothing to write home about though. All in all an average tune from the late stages of Ozzy's career.
11. I Love You All: the last track is only a minute long and it almost sounds like Ozzy's goodbye to his fans. Perhaps his last album? Time will tell. // 9
Lyrics: The album does feature some lyrics similar to classic Ozzy, but some tracks almost feel like he is your father giving you some kind of corny life lesson. There are some tracks on here which don't fit the Oz man's typical lyrical style, namely Let Me Hear You Scream, Life Won't Wait, and Time. The vocals in some spots seem a little too distorted and over-produced. // 7
Overall Impression: Before purchasing this album, I didn't have any kind of expectations that it was going to be another Blizzard of Oz or Diary of a Madman, but Ozzy does put out a good solid effort with Scream. For fans looking for an album that sounds like it's straight out of the Randy Rhoads era, then you'll probably be disappointed, but if you like heavy, solid, straightforward, metal with some short, but fast and technical solos, you will find this one quite enjoyable. The only thing I was hoping for that was abscent was a longer, extended solo section in one of the songs from Gus, perhaps something similar to No More Tears. Certainly could have been a LOT worse effort, especially since Ozzy is getting a little older, but hey, you can't outgrow being a metal super-star. Rock on Ozzy. I'll keep listening so long as you keep putting out new stuff. // 8