Ozzy Osbourne's "Scream" Music Review

7/16/2010 Posted by Admin

Ozzy Osbourne's "Scream"

Music Review

By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz

It’s not surprising that Ozzy changed the name of 10th studio album to the slightly misleading "Scream"--"Soul Sucka" was too literal.

The record, in all its compressed, over-saturated glory, is a soul-sucking venture and contains none of the primal implications of the word “scream.” No, "Scream" is Ozzy grasping for relevance, while distancing himself from the sedated lurch of his reality-show persona, and proving he’s still got the chops that made him famous. "Scream" attempts a lot but leaves Ozzy fans with a record filled with decent songs but lacks anything resembling an actual human scream.

Bridging the gap between classic and new forms is a tall order for the aging Prince of Darkness--balancing his trademark style with modern production trends results in cluttered messes and underdeveloped ideas. Tracks like “Diggin’ Me Down” and the appropriately titled “Let it Die” wrestle with Ozzy’s relevance, but both end up sounding like overlong Pantera songs with a robotic Ozzy, whose digital rants are a little articulate to be real. Nevertheless, traces of decent songs can be found in small doses, but only when songs hang around the three-minute mark.  After that, even the strongest parts of the record feel exhausting, or worse, boring.

Ozzy’s inability to come to terms with his place in pop-culture drives the record's performances with his group playing their hardest, but sounding terribly soulless. The thick chugs of the guitars and over-driven, trebly bass are standard fare for a record like this, but Ozzy’s intensely loud wail and the '80s fashioned sweep-solos leave the record feeling lifeless, especially on ballads “Time” and “Life Won’t Wait,” which are unsurprisingly cheesy at best. The record is too compressed and too loud to relate to any piece of the music--it’s too artificial sounding to be enjoyed thoroughly and gets less exciting with each listen.

The worst part of "Scream" is how disappointing the whole thing feels. Somewhere underneath the layers of compression and reverb lies a decent Ozzy Osbourne record, but everything is so cold and ambivalent that it only holds attention in quick bursts before growing stale. Out of tricks by track six, "Scream" labors on for another 20-minutes, leaving this listener not only bored and confused, but physically exhausted.

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