I am glad Ozzy is present and accounted for. While I enjoyed Black Rain very much I know Ozzy would still like to do what he is now ready to do- a concept album. He has often referred to the Beatles influence in his songs and their impact on his overall psyche. He has always wished for an album that was a complete story rather than fragments of them. Some of his b-sides were unjustly deleted off his albums in some cases. The songs on SCREAM do sound polished but I need to listen to all of them before making a final judgement on them. I don't think Ozzy's earlier solo work is gone forever. It is just buried deep inside of him. As a word of caution, if you are easy going in the studio your music may lack the self criticism it desparately needs to breathe more openly. I am not crazy about the constant auto-tune techniques used on albums these days. They are somewhat gimmicky to me.
As far as stage shows, when Ozzy is ready to finally do a concept album he needs to put on a production like Diary Of A Madman. I totally agree with f_darkbladeus when it comes to Ozzy's outfits. Some have equated his look with a "jogger in black" rather than as the old school rock star. Whatever that means. Gus is a terrific player but I get the feeling he was there just to deliver the chops rather than to bear his soul on this album. What you get at the end of the day is a lot of flash but little in the way of a statement. When Ozzy is quick to dismiss comparisons to Randy or Zakk I know Ozzy is still not convinced of the overall direction his albums are taking. Let's go darker...wait a minute...now heavier... You get the idea. Pretty soon you are reduced to cannons for drums and machine guns for guitar work. I am a guitar teacher so I see lots of various styles on a daily basis. I have even "tried" to teach stuff like Through The Fire And Flames. Most of the time I am chucking at how speed in those cases simply overtakes the substance of what music is meant to do; reach the soul. Sure we may all have ADD but our music shouldn't encourage that. Anyway, I wish Ozzy the best on this album. Will I buy it? Ozzy always has something to say so you know I will.
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