Ozzy Osbourne - Under Cover Review
Retirement may suck but sometimes it is better than the alternative… pounding your musical credibility into the ground. Ozzy is the latest artist to jump on the "covers" album bandwagon and the results are not pretty.
Upon first hearing this CD I had to ask myself, just how did the man that produced such classics as "I Don't Know," Believer," and "N.I.B." end up resorting to an album of bad karaoke? It was puzzling but then I happened to flip through the channels on cable and landed on MTV and it all made sense.
The man we grew up loving (and our parents hated) as the Prince of Darkness had been morphed into the stumbling husband and father to the Osbourne clan; a clan that in the long run we would have all been better off not getting to know. Especially for Ozzy who has seen his legacy tarnished by his loud-mouthed wife and spoiled children. It stopped being about the music the second that "reality sit-com" first aired. But they are making a lot of money so what's a legacy anyway?
Perhaps that was the mentality that went into the creation of this album. Yes, a lot of artists record covers to pay homage to those that inspired them. Some people have voices that lend themselves to such projects, other have excellent voices but are best suited to singing their own music because they do not come over that great singing recognizable songs from other artists. Ozzy is one such artist. He has an unforgettable voice, hell it is the voice that spawned heavy metal, but when he tries to switch up styles to fit the music of other artists, the results are not pretty.
That is not to say that this entire CD is terrible, Ozzy pulls off a couple of cool covers that work, but for the most part this disc is painful to listen to. Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way" is one of the few good fits and Ozzy was smart to start off the disc with this cover. But it's all down hill from there. "In My Life" is an experiment gone terribly wrong. It may have worked with a little faster tempo but as it is stands, this cover is more of an insult than a tribute to John Lennon. The covers of the two solo Lennon compositions are not much better. "Woman" sounds a little off-key, the backing vocals are overpowering and we can't escape the fact that this song was written about Yoko, so maybe it was fitting after all.
"Mississippi Queen" is pretty well executed but not memorable. "All The Young Dudes" sounds more like a parody than a proper cover. (Ironically, Bruce Dickinson did a much better cover of this one a few years back.)
The semi disco instrumentation of "Sympathy For The Devil" may just see the real prince of darkness disown this one. It's as if Ozzy took some tips from his daughter when recording this one, it really is that bad.
"Sunshine Of Your Love" is off-key and again the instrumentation is awful. Plus Ozzy's voice is buried under so many effects it's hard to hear where he ends and "auto-tune" begins.
Overall, this album sounds more like Ozzy screwing around in the studio than a well thought-out project. It is with a heavy heart that I write this review because I have always loved Ozzy's music but this piece of putrescence should have never been dumped on the public, not only for the unsuspecting listener's sake, but also for Ozzy's.
"Goodbye to all the past… I guess that we'll stink in the end"
Ozzy Osbourne - Under Cover