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All But Out of Ideas - 46%

DawnoftheShred, November 18th, 2006

Osmosis, according to Miriam-Webster, is a scientific term used to describe the diffusion of a liquid (usually water) through some sort of membrane. Ozzmosis, on the other hand, is a musical mishap by veteran rock icon Ozzy Osbourne that even the likes of Geezer Butler and Rick Wakeman can’t completely save.

Opener “Perry Mason” is one of the few truly good songs off of this album, featuring a pretty memorable chorus and a groovy Zakk Wylde riff-set throughout. All balls and no bullshit, “Perry Mason” rules. This is how good Ozzy songs are written. “I Just Want You” is actually pretty good too. It’s a bit mellower and Ozzy sounds like he recorded his vocals underwater (or perhaps, under the influence), but the lyrical mechanics are pretty fluid. After this, things start to get patchy. Hit “See You On the Other Side” features Ozzy’s best vocal performance on the album (especially during that post-solo climactic hook), but the guitar rhythm that supports the verses sports quite possibly the worst clean tone of all time (it’s down-tuned, murky, and over-processed). “My Little Man” is this album’s “Mama I’m Coming Home,” a cheesy ballad-of-sorts with a neat sitar-sounding effect on the guitars that fails to save it as a whole. The rest of the songs continue in the same vein, having that modern rock/mallcore feel lingering about them. Ozzy’s voice modulates from enjoyable to insufferable throughout and the whole thing just feels slow and over-long.

Instrumentally, things are quite competent from beginning to end, but it’s the poor songwriting that cripples this album. With Zakk Wylde returning on guitar and Geezer Butler on bass, there are plenty of nice little musical touches to entertain the listener when Ozzy himself fails to, but the album is short on substance. Take away all the pinch harmonics, guitar solos, and the handful of interesting riffs and lyrical passages and you’re left with a gloomy, generic 90’s rock album with the distinct but decaying vocals of the once great Ozzy Osbourne. Long-time fans and newcomers alike might find some things to enjoy on this album (namely “Perry Mason”), but you’d be better off just picking up Alice in Chains’ self-titled album: it has a more authentic sound in the same vein of what Ozzy was going for here while being simultaneously more inventive and even gloomier.