here is a review I did when I got the album
I am slightly disappointed about the bonus tracks. If only I'd know earlier. Other than that I think this is a very strong album.
Not Going Away - opening this album is a great heavy riff. Lyrically it reminds me of Gets Me Through from Ozzy's last album Down To Earth. A real floor stomping track. The solo is nothing too special but I think the song needed it, and I really like the effects after the solo. At first I thought Ozzy was going to attempt to growl like all the nu metal bands out there.
I Don't Wanna Stop - there is something not quite right about the drums in the intro muffled or something. Sounds like the tone Ozzy has on the covers he did. I really like the lyrics though great work on that front. Very Zakk-esque solo a perfect fit. All in all its a pretty good song but I don't think it'll make any of my top lists or personal compilations.
Black Rain - title track alright!!!! I was very excited when I heard the harmonica but as I listen I don't think its Ozzy playing unless he recorded the vocals over it. It'd be impossible for him to do both live. This song has an almost blue grass bass groove in the first few minutes. Again great lyrics and the vocal effect fit well. Very unique and surprising that it works when we get to the bridge and the chanting "Left, left, left right left". No solo but the end sets up for a great place to have either a drum or guitar solo. I really hope they do this live.
Lay Your World On Me - I'm thinking about cutting the first drum easures out of my mp3 file so it just start with the bass. Here is a mello one but following other mello songs of his, a very personal and very relevant in my personal life. A song to lift you lighters (or cell phones nowadays) to. Miss the epic solo from Zakk. There is a point where it sounds as if Zakk is going to do one but it doesn't happen. That the only negative thing I feel about this one.
The Almighty Dollar - From mello to heavy as hell opening riff that tetters off into a bass groove. Socially relevant lyrics but I'm not sure Ozzy is the right person to sing about it. I'm not too into the piano part the lingers for a few moments. And only a tiny solo from Zakk (if you can even call it that.
11 Silver - When I imported my CD this track came up as "Silver" but everywhere else lists the track as "11 Silver". A fast paced song with a great riff by Zakk. Vocal effect are a little over the top. I enjoy the chanting, I can envision them doing this one live with the crowd chanting "Oye, Oye, Oye" along with with. This is a song to listen to the solo a bit short but its pretty fitting. In the end you can hear Ozzy say "Is that the last song" which makes me think the 11 wasn't origionally supposed to be there. Like it was the 11th track recorded and when they were reworking the ordering for the album the 11 was brought in with Silver.
Civilize The Universe - This track struck me when I was reading the tracklisting on the back. Reminisant of I Don't Know but what I really love about this song is Ozzy's melody. Very deep and I just love the lyrics. The bridge doesn't setup for the solo very well and the solo is again short. But there is a nice spot for live bass and drum improvisions. This went immediately into my "Ozzy Osbourne +" playlist.
Here For You - another slow one. Wonderdul orchestral workings. An instant sing-along. Great melody by Ozzy and great lyrics, I just love them. A teaser of an epic solo but again we don't get one \:\( , maybe live.
Countdown's Begun - Great title to begin with. Another one that fits well with Down To Earth. Ozzy revisits a more politcal lyrical content like War Pigs and Killer Of Giants. Another setup for what would have been a great place for a big solo. A pretty good song overall.
Trap Door - great way to end the album. The intro made me think of Magica by Dio . Heavy vocal effect but not over the top. A song that will get your head banging and your fists pounding the air. The ending is a little weird at first but the band pulls it together in the end.
Overall feelings - I think this is a very stong album a great surprise after reading some reviews s***ing on it. My only complaints are that I wish I was informed about the bonus track earlier and there are not enough solos. I really hate this idea that once there is a solo on a song it sounds dated. I don't think every song needs a solo but a lot of these songs would be much better with solos/longer solos. Hopefully When it comes to doing these songs live Zakk will get some shredding in.
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