Released six years after 2001's Down to Earth, Ozzy's Black Rain released in 2007 is the last album to date featuring longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde. Black Rain was sort of a comeback for the Prince of Darkness since it had been six years since the previous album (and there was another six years between 1995's Ozzmosis and 2001's Down to Earth), it was good to have him back as another reviewer said it. Black Rain is not amazing material but it contains some great songs with great licks and solo by Zakk. It's enough to bring most Ozzy fans here in the first place.Black Rain has some great songs, some good ones and some not so good ones, it's not one of the Prince of Darkness' best albums but it's a good one.
"I Don't Wanna Stop" was the first single of the album and is a great song with attitude, Ozzy's always been a rocker and with this one his intentions of continuing are pretty clear. A true fist pumper live, this song is probably my favorite off the whole album, it's damn catchy too! Next Ozzy assure us that he's "Not Going Away", the first two songs are essentially the same subject but different from each other at the same time. NGA is slower and very effective, great song. "Black Rain" is probably the song on the album with the best lyrics, I like the slow intro and how it kicks in and becomes a great little heavy song, this is a highlight of the album. `Lay You World On Me" is the obligatory ballad here, not of Ozz's better ones (such as Goodbye to Romance, Mamma I'm Coming Home, I Just Want You, Dreamer) but it's a very good one that stands on its own. "The Almighty Dollar" is a good one, lyrics work and the song rocks. "11 Silver" is not my cup of tea as Ozzy would say,with its"Hey!Hey!Hey!Hey!..." chorus, doesn't really work for me I'm afraid, however Zakk's solo is lengthy and excellent. "Civilize The Universe" is better, it sounds more like modern metal and has a catchy chorus. "Here For You" is another ballad and another good one, I prefer "Lay Your World On Me" but I like this one as well. Reminds me of some of the Ozzmosis ballads. "Countdown's Begun" is a good heavy track, not much to say on this one. "Trap Door" is one of the better songs on Black Rain, a great album closer, edgy.
A tour edition of Black Rain with an extra disc came out a few months after the original's release which is cool because of the new stuff, but bothered a lot of fans who bought the original (Ozzy latter did the same with his next studio album, Scream). The tour edition of Black Rain offers 3 live songs from Ozzy's 2007 Black Rain tour and 3 unreleased songs that didn't make it on the album. "I Don't Wanna Stop", "Not Going Away" and "Here For You" are the 3 live songs. As far as recorded live performances go those songs sound pretty average, I'm sure they sounded great but the recordings aren't that great. Still it's cool to get live songs or any extras I suppose. It amazes me to this day that the studio track "Nightmare" was released in Japan on the album but not in America, I prefer it to any songs on Black Rain. That song is really amazing with the piano going on in the background, Ozzy's delivery and the lyrics it's a terrific song, too bad it didn't make it on the album. . "I Can't Save You" is nothing special, the lyrics are probably among Ozzy's worst yet "You're in denial with your hand up you're a$$"? That's terrible! I could say the same of "Love to Hate", nothing great. The tour edition is not essential let's put it that way, but it would be worth it to hear "Nightmare".
Black Rain is not of Ozzy's best albums in my opinion, it hits and misses in some places but it's a good album, not bad and I think it ranks about the same as the previous album "Down To Earth". If you're a fan of the Madman there are definitely some songs you are going to like but don't expect it to rank with the classics, it's good on its own that's how I'd put it. Nothing special but an overall good Ozzy album, 3/5.