Ordinary Man (Ozzy Osbourne album)

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Ordinary Man
Ordinary Man.jpg
Studio album by
Released21 February 2020
Recorded2019
Genre
Length49:21
LabelEpic
Producer
Ozzy Osbourne chronology
Scream
(2010)
Ordinary Man
(2020)
Singles from Ordinary Man
  1. "Under the Graveyard"
    Released: 8 November 2019
  2. "Straight to Hell"
    Released: 22 November 2019
  3. "Ordinary Man"
    Released: 10 January 2020
  4. "It's a Raid"
    Released: 20 February 2020

Ordinary Man (stylised as ØRD†NARY MAN) is the twelfth studio album by English heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne. It was released on 21 February 2020 through Epic Records. It was produced by Andrew Watt and Louis Bell. The album marks the first time that Osbourne collaborated with Watt and Bell. It also marks the longest gap between two albums from Osbourne to date, spanning almost ten years since Scream. The first single of the album, "Under the Graveyard", was released on 8 November 2019.[3] The second single, "Straight to Hell", was released on 22 November 2019. The third single and title track featuring singer Elton John was released on 10 January 2020. The fourth single "It's a Raid" featuring Post Malone was released on 20 February 2020, a day before the release of the album.

The album received mainly positive reviews, with many considering it Osbourne's best album in years and favorably comparing it to both his early solo work and Black Sabbath.[4][5]

On 26 February 2020, Osbourne announced that he had started working on the follow-up album,[6] with Andrew Watt returning as producer.[7]

Background[edit]

Ordinary Man is Osbourne's first studio album as a solo artist in ten years following Scream (2010). It is also his first album overall since he reunited with Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler for their final album 13 (2013),[8] with him as lead singer. After the release of 13, they went on a farewell tour titled The End Tour, which ended in Birmingham, England on 4 February 2017.[9] After Black Sabbath concluded their farewell tour, Osbourne kept working on new material. In September 2019, he was featured alongside American rapper Travis Scott on American rapper Post Malone's "Take What You Want", from Malone's third studio album Hollywood's Bleeding, which went on to become Osbourne's first Billboard Hot 100 top 10 in over 30 years, thus making it the longest gap between top 10 appearances in the chart's history.[10] On 8 November 2019, it was revealed that Osbourne had worked with Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan, and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith on the album. Speaking about the recording, he commented that the entire album process is done "in just a short time", adding "Duff and Chad came in and we would go in and jam during the day and I would go work out the songs in the evenings. I previously had said to Sharon I should be doing an album, but in the back of my mind I was going, 'I haven't got the fucking strength.' But Andrew pulled it out of me. I really hope people listen to it and enjoy it, because I put my heart and soul into this album."[11]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.4/10[12]
Metacritic78/100[13]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[4]
Clash7/10[14]
Consequence of SoundB[15]
Evening Standard4/5 stars[16]
Exclaim!7/10[17]
The Guardian3/5 stars[18]
musicOMH3.5/5 stars[2]
NME5/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[19]
Sputnikmusic3.3/5[20]
Variety8/10[21]

Ordinary Man received generally positive reviews from contemporary music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 78, based on 15 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[13] Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? gave it 7.4 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus.[12]

AllMusic critic Fred Thomas gave the album a mostly positive review, writing that although it had a few weaker songs, it was Osbourne's best album in years. He wrote: "The production is huge but the energy is spontaneous, sounding like it was as fun to make as it is to listen to. 71 years old at the time Ordinary Man was released, Osbourne's voice is in great shape, sounding more or less like he always has. How he's making music this strong after riding the crazy train for more than half-a-century is anyone's guess, but the better songs here rank among his best."[4] Josh Gray of Clash wrote that "Ordinary Man is far from perfect, but all Ozzy Osbourne's solo releases tend to reflect their creator's flaws to one degree or another. It does, however, absolutely succeed on its own terms, serving its purpose by reminding the world just what we'll miss when this titan among titans finally departs us for good." He also complimented the energy Osbourne expresses on the album.[14] Spencer Kaufman of Consequence of Sound gave the album a positive review, praising Osbourne's vocals as well as the album's "musicianship", although stating that "songs like 'Goodbye', 'Eat Me', and 'Scary Little Green Men' get lost in the shuffle". Kaufman also stated that he was a bit disappointed that Zakk Wylde wasn't involved in the making of the album.[15] Writing for Evening Standard, Harry Fletcher praised the album, complimenting Osbourne's vocals as well as the features on the album.[16] Joe Smith-Engelhardt of Exclaim! gave Ordinary Man a positive review, saying that it was one of the most captivating albums Osbourne has made in years and "despite small flaws with select songs, he's created another record worthy of people's attention."[17] Writing for musicOMH, Ross Horton was positive towards the album, stating that it is "just another Ozzy Osbourne solo album, for better and worse. It succeeds in its rawness, its slapdash cobbling together of predictable riffs and lunatic poetry."[2]

NME writer Jordan Bassett gave Ordinary Man a perfect score, writing that several songs on the album were reminiscent of Osbourne's old band, Black Sabbath, and that he was having "an absolute ball" on the record.[5] Conversely, writing for Rolling Stone, Kory Grow gave the album a positive review, saying that "Some of the songs are elegiac, some are packed with comic-book laughs, but throughout the album he [Osbourne] sings with a youthful vivacity that seems at odds with his 70-something years. His goofball songs are more lighthearted than ever, and his more serious songs sound even more thoughtful." Grow also mentions that Osbourne's "voice aches is incredibly moving" and that the tender moments of the album makes it a "keeper".[19] Furthermore, writing for The Guardian, Michael Hann gave the album an overall mixed review, implying that "Ordinary Man may have its lachrymose moments lyrically", although stating that the album "perhaps" has "too few memorable songs".[18] A.D. Amorosi of Variety gave the album a positive review, saying that it contains "More hard rock than rough metal, and more lavishly produced (by Andrew Watt, of Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy, and Post Malone's Beerbongs & Bentleys fame) than Ozzy's sludge-glam sound of his past". Furthermore, he believe that Ordinary Man "is like driving a clown car through a wake. It's great, fast fun even when it's sad".[21]

Metal Hammer named it as the 32nd best metal album of 2020.[22]

Commercial performance[edit]

Ordinary Man debuted at number 3 on the US Billboard 200 with 77,000 equivalent units, including 65,000 pure album sales. This is Osbourne's eighth top ten album on the chart as a solo artist.[23][24] The album also debuted at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Ozzy Osbourne, Chad Smith and Andrew Watt, except where noted.

Ordinary Man track listing
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Straight to Hell"3:45
2."All My Life"
4:18
3."Goodbye"
  • Osbourne
  • Smith
  • McKagan
  • Tamposi
  • Wotman
5:34
4."Ordinary Man" (featuring Elton John)
  • Osbourne
  • John
  • Smith
  • McKagan
  • William Walsh
  • Wotman
5:01
5."Under the Graveyard"
  • Osbourne
  • Smith
  • McKagan
  • Tamposi
  • Wotman
4:57
6."Eat Me"
  • Osbourne
  • Smith
  • McKagan
  • Tamposi
  • Wotman
4:19
7."Today Is the End"
  • Osbourne
  • Smith
  • Tamposi
  • Wotman
4:06
8."Scary Little Green Men"
  • Osbourne
  • Smith
  • McKagan
  • Tamposi
  • Wotman
4:20
9."Holy for Tonight"
  • Osbourne
  • Smith
  • McKagan
  • Tamposi
  • Wotman
4:52
10."It's a Raid" (featuring Post Malone)
4:20
11."Take What You Want" (Post Malone featuring Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott) (bonus track for CD, cassette and digital releases)
3:49
Total length:49:21
Japanese bonus track[25]
No.TitleLength
12."Darkside Blues"1:47
Total length:51:14

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from AllMusic.[4]

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]