Posted by & filed under CD Reviews, Web Only.

Ozzy Osborne is a showbiz trooper. He must realise we’ve all seen him on the telly and know for a fact that he’s a harried, shambling old bloke who gets bossed around by the wife and kids. But still, he persists – at least on the cover of Scream, his latest album – in his accustomed role as Dark Prince of Metal. By turns crazed and melancholy, he traverses the astral planes, dressed like a natty Edwardian undertaker. He persists because he loves his fans, and because he’s been doing it for so long. Ozzy’s too old to give a damn about trends, which is why it’s such a shame to hear album opener Let It Die, which sounds like it’s been written by several committees, and with a panicky clutching at hipness, and mixed (as is the rest of Scream) with a dispiriting gloss. Ozzy and his band appear to have taken Black Sabbath IV as their template:  lurching electric riffing (Let Me Hear You Scream) interspersed with acoustic guitars (Diggin’ Me Down), but the result is a pale imitation.
**1/2