[New Release]Ozzy OsbourneI volunteered to review Ozzy Osbourne’s latest CD “Black Rain,” because I wanted a free copy to add to my now-complete Ozzy collection. So it was with great dexterity that I snatched this CD from a colleague. I wasn’t disappointed.
From the get-go, Osbourne, 60, declares “I’m not going away.” In the album’s first single, “I Don’t Wanna Stop,” he sings, “All fired up, I’m gonna go till I drop.” “The Almighty Dollar” is easily the best track. Everything comes together here, from Zakk Wylde’s killer riffs to new bassist Blasko’s groovy tapping and Ozzy’s eerie vocals.
Osbourne’s solo albums have always been defined by guitar solos ― from Randy Rhoads to Jake E. Lee to Wylde ― and Wylde remains the focal point here. But Blasko, formerly with Rob Zombie, stands out, unlike previous bass players who have worked with Ozzy.
On a down note, the token ballads “Lay Your World On Me” and “Here For You” just don’t fit in. If Ozzy wants to go till he drops, he probably should stay away from ballads.
By Yoo Jee-ho
Label: Sony BMG
Scorpions just might be more popular in Korea than in their home country of Germany. The band’s latest release, “Humanity-Hour 1,” could cost them some of that love here.
This is a concept album based on “a world torn apart by a civil war between humans and robots,” according to the CD’s booklet. Perhaps Scorpions might be taking themselves too seriously.
Why experiment at this stage of their career? Let’s face it: this band hasn’t been serious since “Wind of Change,” and that was 17 years ago. The album reaches a low point on “321.” When Klaus Meine repeats, “3-2-1, are you ready to rock?” I am reminded of a scene in The Simpsons.
Homer steps on to a stage at Monty Burns’ party, and yells, “Are you ready to laugh?” A lady in the audience replies, “Be quiet, you awful man.”
Meine isn’t that awful. The marvelous singer does shine in “The Game Of Life” and “We Were Born To Fly.” But Scorpions can no longer rock you like a hurricane. By Yoo Jee-ho
Label: Sony BMG
Rihanna ventures into new territory with her third album, “Good Girl Gone Bad.” The Barbadian R&B singer has thrown in retro grooves from the 1980s, reggae loops and funk elements.
Jay Z features in the first single “Umbrella,” currently occupying the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Rihanna’s nasal vocal and sticky chorus make it hard to resist. This is just the beginning of a string of upbeat dance tracks that dominate the first half of the album. Most notable is “Shut Up and Drive.” With heavy electric rock’n roll vibe, Rihanna takes full control. The album mellows with “Hate That I Love You,” a collaboration with Ne-Yo.
“Rehab” is another prominent cut which Justin Timberlake co-wrote and provided back vocals.
It may be a bit hasty to start comparing Rihanna to R&B divas like Mary J. Blige or Beyonce, but the album shows she has the potential to one day grow into a diva in her own right. Meanwhile, with not a single track to throw away, this may just be the summer album of the year. By Choi Hae-won
“Good Girl Gone Bad”