Ozzy Osbourne | Patient Number 9 – New Studio Release Review

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Apart from his first pair of solo efforts with Randy Rhoads, along with releases that came after, up to 1991’s No More Tears, Ozzy Osbourne’s albums have been hit and miss affairs, artistically. Now, at 73 and plagued with a variety of health issues, the singer could very easily rest on his laurels. Then again, if you know anything about the reputed madman, that’s just not going to happen. In 2020, with the pandemic putting his “farewell” tour put on hold, Osbourne released the star-studded Ordinary Man to much acclaim. Coming two years later, the follow-up Patient Number 9, also filled with big names, proves the Black Sabbath frontman is still very much in the game.

You can’t deny the star power enlisted for the album, which, like its predecessor, was produced by Andrew Watt. The title track — a catchy number written by Osbourne, Watt, Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and Ali Tamposi, a noted pop songwriter and major contributor on Ordinary Man — includes a fiery solo from no less than master guitarist Jeff Beck. Eric Clapton, another former Yardbird, makes an appearance on “One Of These Days,” lending a few blues-laden notes to fill the spaces and lighten the load. Hearing Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi tear into “No Escape From Now” and “Degradation Rules” will have you yearning for the pioneering heavy metal band to reassemble.

Mike McCready of Pearl Jam adds a grungy edge to “Immortal,” while longtime Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde fires up the riffs for the remainder of the record. Smith and the late Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters provide the drums; Trujillo, Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses and Chris Chaney of Jane’s Addiction handle the bass. Altogether, Patient Number 9 is a gallant effort, brimming with energy and spirit. It perfectly captures the singer’s unique and stirring vocals, leading the charge over a mostly heavy soundtrack full of heart and passion. Perhaps more than anything, it finds Ozzy Osbourne untarnished by the wear and tear of his age and rockstar lifestyle — and far, far away from the finish line.

~ Shawn Perry

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