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When I was young, I was taught to worship Ozzy Osbourne, for he was great, as were his songs. No More Tears was his most epic album, transcending the limits of popular songwriting in heavy metal music and kicking uncharted amounts of ass along the way. This is the way that it was, is, and always shall be. As I've grown older, I've found these precepts to be exaggerations of their former selves. No More Tears has lots of ideas that never reached fruition, hindering it from the iconic status it was once honored with, and suffers from a classic case of quantity over quality.
I'll lay out the gist of its problem right here: no substance. The songs on this album are presented, linger around for a while, and then resolve themselves without ever giving you a reason to acknowledge that they just played. There's no impact; no attachment to the music. Almost like an entire album of filler. Even when the songs try to be meaningful or emotive, they just sound bland and uninspired. "But Zakk Wylde is the most shredworthy of shredders and can do no wrong lol." Sure, the man writes a mean solo, on every song on here no less. But can he try writing a memorable song? The riffing is fourth-rate Jake E. Lee, with some mandatory Rhoads worship and a hint of modern wankery. Ozzy's voice still sounds good (and the lyrics are still unconsequential, even the ones penned by Lemmy) but he's not going to be confused with a great singer. Drums sound like they always have, standard issue. The bass is actually pretty good at parts, but the tone is mediocre. But the instrumental performances aren't the problem here, it's the songs themselves.
First of all, there's too many ballads. "Mama, I'm Coming Home," "Time After Time," and "Road to Nowhere" all are catchy enough, but lack the depth of his earlier material and muck up the pace of the album. "Zombie Stomp" has an intro so long that it ruins all incentive to enjoy it. There's also too many uses of stupid effects on the guitars and vocals and weird samples, like the pseudo-creepy intro to "Mr. Tinkertrain." Highlights on this album? The title track, as it still rules to this day. Think "Shot in the Dark" made more epic. Lots of soaring guitarwork, killer atmosphere, and perfect keyboard highlights. Other than that it's slim pickings, with maybe "Hellraiser" and the aforementioned "Road to Nowhere" pulling their weight on the album.
I guess time has not been kind on this album. It's old charm has faded for me and I'm left wondering what happened to it. No More Tears has its moments of course, but it's a fairly uninspired release from one of heavy metal's forefathers and a far cry from the glory of the Rhoads years.