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Rounding out an otherwise endless stream of hypnotic modern groove metal on “Down To Earth” is this one little ballad caprice “Dreamer”, a modern acoustic take on John Lennon’s gooey idealism, but with a little less of an overt leftwing propaganda message. The music video actually features Ozzy sporting a pair of sunglasses identical to the sort that all of those Lennon t-shirts always have pasted on his face. It’s basically easy listening fodder for radio, repetitive, loaded with Beatles piano chord drones and a primitive straight rock beat and a comical chorus with an orchestral backdrop, complete with a stereotypical organ lifted right out of “Let It Be”. The only thing that pulls this out of the “desperately trying to relive the past” department is Zakk Wylde’s wildly out of place guitar solo. Hey Zakk! This is a ballad, so please go a bit easier on the vibrato next time.
The two b-sides that round out this silly little single exhibit a peculiar sense of bipolar disorder on the past of the Ozzman. On one hand, we have a shorter version of the 2 note groove abomination from beyond the shores of hell “Gets Me Through”, a song that essentially elevated the act of hypnotizing people via music to an art form. On the other, we have an odd little semi-speed metal song with loads of sludgy underpinnings in “Black Skies”. The riffs listen like a Black Label Society take on “I Don’t Know”, loaded with way too many pinch harmonics and a lot of noisy guitar mud, but fairly enjoyable nonetheless. This single is basically the only reason why I can’t throw this completely under the bus, and why this got stuck on a single and crud like “Junkie” and “Facing Hell” made it onto “Down To Earth”.
For those who like older Ozzy and who might not be aware of “Black Skies”, this is the only reason why one would ever be possessed to buy something like this unless their dancing to Ozzy’s newfound groove music. The best route would be to skip the other nonsense on here and go straight for a direct download mp3 style, if you are able to find a site that carries this song. It’s about the quality of the better songs heard on “Ozzmosis”, but a little bit more organized and better produced. Ozzy is definitely no John Lennon, though I don’t see why anyone would want to be, but he definitely can still occasionally rock when he feels like it.