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Not the greatest - 62%

tfs0003, March 19th, 2005

The latest edition of "Ozzmosis" makes some sort of horseshit claim on the back of the jewel case that the album was a darling of the critics upon its release. I was not able to unearth any evidence to prove that. There are much worse albums out there, but this one just isn't that great. For starters, if Ozzy's entire catalog sounded akin to most of "Ozzmosis," he wouldn't even be categorized as metal by the metal-archives or anyone else. Roughly half of the songs are ballads and no songs push the tempo beyond moderate. Still a good deal of the songs are quality on the writing level. The most glaring problem stems from the fact that an album thematically based on slow to mid-tempos and lyrical introspection could benefit greatly from a little grit in the overall sound. Unfortunately, the ultra-slick production mellows out (read: sanitizes) every audible sound on the album. Zakk Wylde is a terrific guitarist with lots of great ideas, but using chorus effect to begin almost every track is not one of them. Despite these complaints, some of the ballads would have been welcome on an album of primarily hard metal one at a time. "I Just Want You" in particular stands out on its own, although it blends in with the undiversified texture of this collection. "Perry Mason" is a truly great song in swaggering 6/8 meter. It's worthy of mention along with Ozzy's best material, a high standard indeed. "Thunder Underground" gets a bad rap, which is unfair. I love this song in all of its new metal, drop-c sharp glory. Along with "Perry Mason," "Thunder Underground" is the only part of "Ozzmosis" you should let your metalhead friends catch you listening to in public. However, if you want to convince your girlfriend/pastor/local PTA that Ozzy is good old family fun (in a depressing, reflective way), crank it about five on the volume dial.