Album Review — Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy Osbourne — Patient Number 9
Ozzy Osbourne is back with his second album in two years with the release of “Patient Number 9”. It follows the 2020 release of “Ordinary Man”. I wasn’t a fan of the last record and thought the collaborations with Elton John and Post Malone just didn’t work. But this time Ozzy gets it right choosing to work with artists that are more in line with Ozzy’s sound, specifically high quality guitarists.
A new Ozzy album is worth a quick track by track breakdown…
“Patient Number 9” — The title track is the lead single and features Jeff Beck on guitar. The song checks in at over 7 minutes and that includes an extended intro. Ozzy’s health has been deteriorating over the years but he still has his voice. It’s a quality track that may not be the best choice for an opener but we are off to a good start.
“Immortal” — Mike McCready of Pearl Jam guests on this one which kind of sounds like a cross between an Ozzy and Pearl Jam track. I like that each guest influences the sound of the songs. This is one of my favorites on the record.
“Parasite” — It’s good to see Ozzy working with Zakk Wylde again. Wylde is featured on four tracks and as expected these tracks sound more like Ozzy tracks. I guess the late Taylor Hawkins plays on this track and two others as well.
“No Escape From Now” — Former Black Sabbath bandmate Tony Iommi guests on two tracks and it doesn’t take long to hear Iommi’s influence. The Iommi riff is unmistakeable even on this moodier track. This one checks in at almost seven minutes and takes a few turns along the way.
“One Of Those Days” — In what might seem like the unlikeliest pairing on the record, Eric Clapton guests on this one. I’m not a Clapton fan really but this track works. I’m impressed with Ozzy’s ability to adapt styles and this one definitely sounds more like a Clapton track than an Ozzy one.
“A Thousand Shades” — Jeff Beck makes a second appearance on this slower track. Another quality solo from Beck who really stands out on his two appearances.
“Mr. Darkness” — The first of three tracks in a row featuring Wylde. This one slowly builds and really gets going with Wylde’s solo. Another strong Wylde track.
“Nothing Feels Right” — This one follows a similar path to the previous track as it’s mostly a slower track that eventually builds and features a quality Wylde solo. These tracks featuring Wylde do make me wonder why Ozzy chose to end the partnership when he did as they really do create some great music together.
“Evil Shuffle” — The last of the Wylde tracks, this one is probably my least favorite of the four Wylde tracks. It’s not a bad track, it just doesn’t do a lot for me.
“Degradation Rules” — The second Iommi track gets the riffing going from the start. A harmonica features prominently as well which is a bit of a surprise. It has that Sabbath sound but feels a little more updated. A quality track.
“Dead and Gone” — The last three tracks don’t have a credited “featured” artist. This one sounds like classic solo Ozzy and might be my favorite Ozzy song that I’ve heard in a very long time. Great track.
“God Only Knows” — This sounds like a cover song but I don’t think it is. It just has that classic sound from something that was written in the 70s. I wouldn’t call it classic Ozzy but it works.
“Darkside Blues” — This short bluesy number probably isn’t necessary and I would have preferred the album end with “God Only Knows”. It doesn’t do any harm really, I just don’t see the point.
I was not a fan of the last Ozzy record and I was concerned that he would end on that sour note. But “Patient Number 9” is a revelation and if it is Ozzy’s final record he has gone out with a bang. I love the group of featured artists that each bring their own style to the tracks without taking away from Ozzy.
This was a very pleasant surprise and definitely worth the time to check out.
90 out of 100
01. Patient Number 9 (feat. Jeff Beck)
02. Immortal (feat. Mike McCready) *
03. Parasite (feat. Zakk Wylde) *
04. No Escape From Now (feat. Tony Iommi)
05. One Of Those Days (feat. Eric Clapton)
06. A Thousand Shades (feat. Jeff Beck)
07. Mr. Darkness (feat. Zakk Wylde) *
08. Nothing Feels Right (feat. Zakk Wylde)
09. Evil Shuffle (feat. Zakk Wylde)
10. Degradation Rules (feat. Tony Iommi)
11. Dead And Gone *
12. God Only Knows *
13. Darkside Blues