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A Mix Of Decency And Garbage - 33%

Luvers666, July 15th, 2007

After the vigorous and grandiose Ultimate Sin, which saw Ozzy dabbling into the metal that was most profitable at the time, this was a return to the form for Ozzy. The only problem was not the newly acquired guitarist but because five of the eight songs here, nine on some versions, are totally mundane and insipid. No Ozzy album is totally forgettable, except for Ozzmosis and on, and there are some classic songs here, it just does not flow as well as the four previous albums do.
Perhaps it would only be fair to separate the good and bad tracks, with the bad being talked about first.

The Bad:

Miracle Man starts the album off in such the wrong way, it's NOT a bad song, wait, yes it is. The riff is decent but after hearing it four times before the drums even begin, you know it’s going to be played 78943197831497845 times by songs end. Then to make matters worse Ozzy starts doing something with the vocals, and I say ‘something’ cause you can NOT call what he is doing as singing. His voice is as grating as it ever has been. It sums up the bad songs in every way, there is absolutely nothing original about this song, not just in terms of Ozzy but everyone else. The only redeeming thing about this song is the title of it being sung through a voice box in the second verse, but is so overused and abused in the rather lame chorus. The review for this song is just like the song itself, thanking god it moved on.
Devil's Daughter carries on in the same tradition, lame and full of ideas that are already used, not only by Ozzy but by everyone else as well. Crazy Babies is perhaps the worse song on the album, with its signature main riff never leaving. Almost every second of this song sounds the same and Ozzy's vocals by this point are so predictable it is insulting. Not even the solos in these two songs can save them from the depths of sheer mediocrity, mainly because they are all just rip-offs of others. Plus the video for Crazy Babies has got to be one of the most redundant videos in the history of music, no matter the genre. Even Limp Bizkit had better videos than this, and we all know how badly that band sucks.
Demon Alcohol is a mid pace burner that is ruined by the opening riff, full of squeals and over-indulgent lyrics. But the pre-chorus is a good section only to be ruined by the chorus with the redundant "I'll get you" to end it all.

The Good:
Breaking All the Rules is where things start getting good, despite the one-dimensional riff and A-typical lyrics that are ridiculous the song is one of the better ones. The lead break after the first verse is one of Zakk's few original moments and the way Ozzy sings is not as bad as the previous songs. Overall the song is catchy and manages to hold on just enough by not overstaying it’s welcome, though it does scrape on the tip of it very often.

Bloodbath in Paradise is another highlight here, with its spooky intro and chilling guitar leads. It erupts into a fun upbeat number very reminiscent of Secret Loser from the Ultimate Sin, just not as good. The tale of Charles Manson also gives this a very sinister feel that is one of the few brilliant moments here.

Fire in the Sky was the obligatory ballad but this time Ozzy makes it work, by sticking with the elements that made Killer of Giants such a tremendous song. Heavy riffs that calm down to a keyboard-synth during the verse that depict the lifestyle of Ozzy, both as a kid and an adult. This is also one of the very few times throughout Ozzy's career that he sounds convincing not only in a ballad but when he is telling his life-story. The only downfall to the song is the chorus is repeated for the last minute of the song after the phenomenal lead break section.

Tattooed Dancer is the best song on the album, with its thrashy riffs and drums, which even comprises the intro. This song is a demented speed metal number that totally wipes the floor with every song on the album as well as every song since. Never again will Ozzy be this raw and at this speed. The lyrics are also totally perverted, even sometimes being blatantly obvious with such examples as "Well I can hear her moaning like a dog that's in heat" and "Dance for me bitch". The solo in this song is also another one of the few things that totally work and is of Zakk's ideas, even though you can clearly hear(like all other 1980's Metal guitarists) a touch of Rik Emmett of Triumph fame in its approach. The song is fun and energetic, perhaps only bested by the live performance on Just Say Ozzy.

With all that said, if it weren't for the four straight songs in the middle, I'd give this album a rating of about 3. Cut off tracks four through seven, slap those on an EP and this would be like a 66. Do yourself a huge favor and obtain just those four tracks and maybe, just maybe Devil's Daughter but avoid the rest.