Ozzy Osbourne – Patient Number 9

7/10

The previous Ozzy Osbourne album “Ordinary man” (2020) seems to have cut the audience in half. Myself, I was one of those who appreciated the album a lot. That is, disregarding the lousy sound quality as well as the awful album closer “Take what you want”. So, what’s the follow-up like? I’ll go for it, song by song.
“Patient Number 9” is a fairly modern pop tune with a hard rock riff. Ozzy’s singing is restrained and rather cute. Jeff Beck’s guitar solo is wild, during which the tune becomes pure hard rock. Nice use of acoustic guitar towards the end. “Immortal” presents superb riffs, fine lyrics, cool little effects and a nice bridge, but a poor chorus. A spicy solo, though, from Mike Mccready. “Parasite” has more fine riffs, but I seem to have heard the song before.
“No Escape from Now” features Ozzy’s Black Sabbath colleague Tony Iommi, and is very heavy as befits a guest performance by der Riffmeister. The song brims with worrying melancholy and even the bass is delightfully playful. A minor epic. “One of Those Days” is an elegant semi-ballad which features guitar legend Eric Clapton. For “A Thousand Shades”, Jeff Beck is back for another pretty nice semi-ballad (outstanding solo), sadly dampened by the album’s ubiquitous bad sound.
“Mr. Darkness” features Zakk Wylde on lead guitar and is quite possibly my favourite of the thirteen. It’s beautifully melancholic, but again suffers from the poor sound quality. Zakk Wylde stays on for “Nothing Feels Right” which doesn’t feel right and for “Evil Shuffle”, which is much better. “Degradation Rules” (again featuring Tony Iommi) is a riff party with potential. “Dead and Gone” has a superb chorus and “God Only Knows” is not the Beach Boys song, but a fat arena ballad in the Aerosmith vein and with distinguished guitar playing. Among the disc’s best. Final track “Darkside Blues” is way too short (1:47), but with its classy use of harmonica and haunting sound effects could be considered as a fitting goodbye if this indeed is Ozzy’s last output.
As a whole, this record suffers greatly from its sound. It’s desert-sand dry and often messy. If this is supposed to be modern , then I don’t like modern. This can’t however take away the fact that the record features a long row of mostly more than decent compositions, always with great melodies and often turned into multi-part mini-epics. With a great sound quality (as on Ozzy’s 80’s albums) the grading would have been more generous. Better than “Oridinary man”? The two records seem to be each other’s siblings.
A question: Is “patient number 9” a wink to Ozzy’s hero John Lennon’s obsession with that number? Furthermore, the album was released on 9/9….
Artist: Ozzy Osbourne
Title: Patient Number 9
Label: Epic
Date of release: 9/9-2022
Rate: 7/10
Stand Out Track: Mr. Darkness

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Ozzy Osbourne – Patient Number 9

September 14, 2022

With a great sound quality (as on Ozzy's 80's albums) the grading would have been more generous. Better than "Oridinary man"? The two records seem to be each other's siblings.

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