REVIEW: Ozzy Osbourne – Patient Number 9 (2022)


The title track is a little disappointing if I’m being honest.  It has a catchy pop hook, which is never a good sign when legendary hard rockers start pandering to the chart followers, but that aside it comes across as a bit like a modern day Alice Cooper track.  A bit too safe musically considering the lyrical subject.

Likewise “Immortal” flatters to deceive and is a straight forward rocker featuring Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready.  The chorus is a paint by numbers effort.  A fairly bog-standard start then by the Ozzman’s standards.  However, stick with it as track three, “Parasite”, amps up the quality, attitude and energy and begins to sound a little more like the classic-era Ozzy that we remember so fondly.

There are a number of collaborations on this album but unlike 2020’s Ordinary Man which saw him link up with Post Malone and Travis Scott no doubt in a bid to buy the youth vote, here he calls on more familiar names for those who don’t listen to Radio 1.  Names like Zakk Wylde and Tony Iommi are of course inextricably linked with Ozzy but it’s good to see Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready and the guitarists guitarist Jeff Beck on a few tracks.  Bluesman Eric Clapton also lends his fingers to the emotive but ultimately forgettable “One Of Those Days”. 

Black Sabbath bandmate, and all-round god of guitar, Tony Iommi, lends his six-string skills to a couple of tracks on the album beginning with the menacing “No Escape From Now” which could have come from the aforementioned Alice Cooper’s classic Welcome To My Nightmare album.

“Mr Darkness” is easily one of the best tracks that Ozzy has produced in the last 20 years or more. A brilliantly constructed track that explodes with a fiery guitar riff in the chorus that is begging to be played on his much-delayed UK tour in 2023.  Another triumph is the down and dirty harmonica-soaked “Degradation Blues” which is the second Osbourne/Iommi collaboration and more than lives up to its protagonist’s fearsome reputation.

“Dead and Gone” deserves a mention as a track of superior quality and the closer “Darkside Blues” plays out as an outro of sorts at only 100 seconds or so in length.

There is a general theme around mortality that is present throughout the album butat 73 years young and a decade littered with accidents and ill-health it is perhaps remarkable that we even have another Ozzy album, particularly as the previous release “Ordinary Man” was only a couple of years back.  For that we must be eternally grateful that he still has the will, desire and talent to produce an album, that may not rank amongst his finest, nevertheless gives some outstanding moments and reminders of what makes Ozzy the legend that he is.

Donnie’s Rating: 8/10 A good album that may well improve with time.

Patient Number 9 is out now

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