We gave it a C-
Given that his recent albums haven’t been hugely successful — or, for that matter, any good — it’s hardly shocking that Ozzy Osbourne is taking his TV money and running (or perhaps shuffling). Arriving only three months after ”The Osbournes” debuted on MTV, The Osbourne Family Album is as cobbled together as one would expect. It’s a mix CD that sounds as if it were burned by someone who’d taken too many Vicodin.
On this strangest of hodgepodges, each Osbourne got to select a song or three. Sharon picks Eric Clapton’s sappy ”Wonderful Tonight” (Oz would play it for her before their dates) and the Cars’ ”Drive” (it reminds her of daughter Aimee, who declined to participate in the show). Tellingly, Jack tosses in a cut by Dillusion, a dreary nü-metal band he’s promoting as part of his nascent record-exec career. Kelly, who appears to have the best taste in the household, opts for a live version of Starsailor’s ”Good Souls” and throws herself into a too-obvious punk-metal remake of ”Papa Don’t Preach.” Ozzy selects several of his own songs, including last year’s ”Dreamer,” a majestic (for him) ballad whose lyrics, originally written about John Lennon, could now apply to his home life (”Without each other’s help/There ain’t no hope for us”).
As in the show, the message is clear: The family that rocks together stays together. (The record is dedicated to Aimee, as if to make sure she doesn’t feel left out.) But the album doesn’t transcend its shameless cash-in feel. Maybe the Osbournes are saving their full-on creativity for all the other tie-ins they’ve signed off on while the getting’s good, from books to underwear to action figures. The disc’s only unifying elements are the between-song snippets taken from the series, which serve to let listeners actually hear Ozzy and the gang say ”f—” on the explicit version. But if you really crave ”Crazy Train,” buy ”Blizzard of Ozz” instead.