Released: 2001, Sony
I wasn’t expecting much when I first put this album into my CD player. We all know what sort of stuff Ozzy has been pushing off on us in the 90s ... mostly uninspired, mainstream hard rock which had more in common with alt/nu-metal then the classic Ozzy of the 80s. The only glimmer of hope I had for this record was that Zakk Wylde was going to be a part of the deal and I’d been reading for months that Zakk was insisting that the Ozman go heavy again. Well, guess what my friends ... it worked!
On the initial spin my impressions were that Down To Earth is indeed heavier and better than anything Ozzy has done since the mid-80s. Now, a couple weeks later, I’m still feeling that way. Much of the album reminds of early Ozzy, particularly his Blizzard of Oz era stuff. Nowhere is that vibe more apparent than on the first single, Gets Me Through, and during the socially-conscious, Beatle-esque ballad Dreamer, which sounds an awful lot like Goodbye to Romance. Which brings me to my only complaint about the album ... a little too much Beatles influence abounds on the two ballads. Mercifully, there are only two softballs on this one though and there are four ass-kickers: Facing Hell, No Easy Way Out, That I Never Had and Can You Hear Them.
Overall, the production on DTE is great, though at times it is a bit too polished. Zakk brings some pretty grinding riffs to the table and I salute him for it. The Wylde-man’s influence on this album is a godsend and makes this CD a worthy addition to any metal collection. Some may argue with me, but this is the Ozzy I have been wanting to hear for a long time.
Official website: http://www.ozzy.com