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Somewhat of a disappointment. - 67%

Nightcrawler, January 10th, 2003

Diary Of A Madman is, while it has a few killer tracks, very disappointing compared to Ozzy's great solo debut Blizzard Of Ozz. As I said, some tracks are killer, but overall it comes off as very inconsistent, and for an album with just 8 tracks, inconsistency will pretty much ruin it.
Randy Rhoads delivers a truly amazing guitar performance on this album, just as one would expect him to do.
The drumming is pretty good, it has very nice flow to it. The bass is quite bad, too loud and muddy.
Ozzy's vocal style hasn't really changed; he's still the same guy. He isn't a great singer by any means, and he hasn't got a very wide range, but he's good when he stays within that range. When he tries to sing out of his range, well... Let's not get into that, shall we?

The music on Diary is overall a little more straightforward and less atmospheric than on it's predecessor, and most of the songs go on at a quite slow pace, and it's mostly the slower paced stuff that makes this album worse than it could've been. On Blizzard, the slower songs were better and more inspired (See: Suicide Solution), while the slower paced material on Diary is uninspired and sometimes really boring (See: Little Dolls).

The best song on this album is also the first, that being Over The Mountain. A decent drum intro kicks into a wicked, heavy and fairly fast guitar riff.
This is indeed one of the heaviest and fastest songs on the album, but it's quite slow compared to his later stuff, for example Miracle Man. Still, it's quite fast considering this is one of his older albums.
Oh yeah, the drumming on the chorus is pretty damn insane.

Flying High Again is a bit slower paced, but the best of the slow ones. Catchy, occasionally cool lyrics and of course nice guitar work, and some really good basslines.

You Can't Kill Rock N' Roll is a quite good ballad, one of the better ones he ever did. It's not as uninspired and dumb as Goodbye To Romance, and has a quite cool, pretty fast chorus. Although it's good, it feels a bit overlong, reaching 7 minutes.

Now we have reached Believer, and here it all starts going downwards. It's not all that terrible though. The guitar riffs are quite nice, though the bass is quite repetitive and annoying, and it really gets on my nerves.
It's a midpaced song, with decent verses but an incredibly stupid and uninspired bridge, ending with nothing less than: "O.K. Baby"....Right.
The second bridge on the other hand is a bit better and more melodic.
The guitar solo is absolutely amazing, that must also be mentioned. But all these facts aside, there song is overall very lacking.

Little Dolls next. My first comments about this song would be: Crash and burn.
My first complaint: The lyrics are damn evil, while the song is the happiest damn thing ever. What the fuck, everything sounds so wrong and out of place.
Also, the bass is damn annoying. It's pretty much a simplified version of the damn boring guitar riffs.
Nope, this is definitely one of the lowest points in Ozzy's entire career. Damn, this sucks!

Tonight is another fairly crappy song. The album's second ballad, and this one is much more uninspired than the first.
The bass is incredibly annoying (I'm starting to see a pattern here...) and the guitars aren't very noticeable, except for on the guitar solo, which is totally amazing. It seems like the best solos Randy played were on otherwise shitty ballads (See: Goodbye To Romance).

S.A.T.O next. This is another great song, and it is also the fastest on the album. Really sweet guitarwork, great drumming and finally a nice bass performance again. It's not too loud this time, which it has been the last few songs.
And let's not forget yet another amazing guitar solo. Randy Rhoads was truly amazing! Nonetheless, I must admit I prefer his work on the debut to this album.

Diary Of A Madman is a decent but a bit overlong closer. It has some cool, haunting moments, some nice melodic verses, a nice heavy guitar riff in the middle, and a cool climax at the end. It's not great, but not bad either.

Overall, most songs on the album are pretty good. But, even the good or better songs usually lack something. May it be inspiration, may it be energy, may it be a good vocal performance, throughout nearly the whole album, there is always something missing. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is simply not good enough.