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If you look into Ozzy’s past as a solo artist, he often has the best luck producing good title songs for his albums, even when the albums are less than top notch. The same basically applies to this song, which still embodies the groovy redundancy and pop/metal mentality that defines the album that it was featured on. But a few atmospheric affects here and there, a couple of differences with the other formulaic songs, a higher quality riff set that is able to sustain constant repetition, and lyrics that aren’t born out of corny, self-worshipping, autobiographical nonsense. Granted Ozzy is a bit late to the field when it comes to protesting America’s Middle Eastern policy, probably in part due to being swept up in all the Bush love that Tony Blair had been pushing and getting some airtime while at a dinner that good ole King George IV hosted.
“Black Rain” is actually somewhat similar to a Type O Negative song in many ways. It has that sort of smooth, flowing bass character to it and a sort of slow groove that is conducive to melodic material that doesn’t just follow the riff that way Ozzy often does. Instead of overused guitar squeals and meandering shred fests there’s a sort of bluesy harmonica line that trades places with an Arabic sounding theme played on both the guitar and a middle eastern wind instrument. The symbolism of the two is fairly effective, although the song’s lyrical content is not really abstract enough to really be thought provoking. It’s not nearly as strongly opinionated and condemning as “War Pigs” of “Wicked World”, nor as poetic as Dio’s “The Man Who Would Be King”.
This is the only single that never got a music video, and judging by the really dull content on the other two that did get their own videos, that was a smart move. If Ozzy had been a bit more demanding of Zakk and focused more energy into making songs that follow this one’s example rather than wasting time on radio fodder, this album could have been a respectable comeback. Although Ozzy will likely never recover from the funk he’s been in for almost 15 years now, maybe he’ll make some more improvements, as it’s obvious that he’s intent on dying with his boots on, we can only hope.