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Ozzy Finds A Little Magic... - 82%

Luvers666, April 19th, 2008

...to deliver a great half an album.

You know your a bad artist when your best performance warrants a 99 rating from a fan and their next favorite album is unable to even scrape a mid 80.

Ozzy Osbourne, the now self-mockery of himself, will always be known as the man who cannot sing and has only survived throughout his career for two reasons:

1) He was the original singer in the band that are the creators of the 'Heavy Metal' genre. And...
2) His occasional moments of glory can be more contributed to his band instead of anything the man himself has done.

Bark At The Moon, Ozzy's third solo album and first after the death of Randy Rhoads, sees Ozzy pondering without direction and being convincing only half the time. The truly sad part about Ozzy is while this album is nowhere near 'awesome', it's still the second best album by him. The songs that work really work, becoming almost immediate classics, but the majority of the album is so unlistenable that it ranks near the bottom.

The album also fails from poor track listings. No matter which version you have, all the best songs are at the beginning of the album. The entire band and Ozzy are in top notch form, with the Ozzman even sounding like he is at the top of his game. There is even a level of diversity that is not present on the later albums, as well as his two previous where he was supposedly at his "best". Rather it is speed metal and glam metal in the title track and "Rock And Roll Rebel" respectively. But with hard rock and Jazz-y ballads with "Now You See It" and "Your No Different" respectively. The latter finds Ozzy at his greatest in terms of lyrics and vocals, he almost comes across like a breath-taking vocalist, and the lyrics are logical. The riffs on the aforementioned songs all kick ass, with their driving forceful rhythms and soulful room to breathe, you can find yourself lost within the atmosphere of them.

The album's first single, that being the title track, was quite possibly it's best ever, going on to become a staple of Ozzy's live performances, and arguably, his signature tune. Guitarist Jake E. Lee is in fine form throughout, also scoring high marks with the upbeat "Rock And Roll Rebel" and the elaborate "Now You See It". But by comparison, Ozzy, Bob Daisley and Tommy Aldridge's contributions take a serious nosedive into irritating musical clich├ęs, especially on the monotonous blues of "Spiders", "Slow Down" and the unbearably cheesy lyrics of "Centre of Eternity." At times, Ozzy still can't help but sound derivative of any song recorded during Sabbath's era with him, and besides the always present Sabbath similarities, he also alludes to early Motown artists on the chorus of the dreadful "So Tired."

All things considered, however, Bark At The Moon remains one of Ozzy's best solo all-around efforts.