Single Review: Kelly Osbourne & Ozzy Osbourne “Changes”

Changes
Album: Changes
Year: 2003

In 1972, Black Sabbath released their U.K. hit “Changes.” In it, Ozzy Osbourne mourns the loss of his girlfriend and experiences emotions he didn’t realize he could feel.

A piano shortly begins the song. Then, subtle strings are added as Ozzy starts the first verse. This sparse accompaniant will remain throughout the song. Ozzy is depressed and missing the closest person to him. He reveals that she was his girlfrieind and he was deeply in love with her. However, he broke up with her and regrets it. (“I feel unhappy/I feel so sad/I lost the best friend/That I ever had/She was my woman/I loved her so/But it’s too late now/I’ve let her go”).

Ozzy, full of woe and remorse, says he’s dealing with a great deal hurt and he’s no longer the person he was when he dated her. (“I’m going through changes/I’m going through changes”).The strings chime in which add a comforting and forgiving tone to the single.

They spent every day and night together, sharing their love for each other and working through their conflicts. However, he became distracted by something which was a negative influence. He didn’t care much then and it destroyed their relationship. (“We shared the eve’s/We shared each day/In love together/We found a way/But soon the world/Had its evil way/My heart was blinded/Love went astray”).

The breakup happened quite a long time ago and the pain didn’t hit him until much later. However, he can still remember their last conversation they had. He cries constantly and struggles to move on. If only’s are always going this his mind. (“It took so long/To realize/That I can still hear/Her last goodbyes/Now all my days/Are filled with tears/Wish I could go back/And change these years”).

Ozzy’s voice is clear and natural. He sells his grief with feeling.

After the chorus, the piano and strings quietly end the single.

For Kelly Osbourne, covering her father’s hit in 2003 served as opportunity to salvage her failed music career. However, she teamed with Ozzy, added more instruments, and modified the lyrics. The 2003 “Changes” is reintrepreted as a daughter leaving her father and growing up while Ozzy wishes Kelly could be his little girl again.

The piano intro is the same down the last second. Kelly’s upset that her father is gone from her life. She was close to him and relied on him for support. (“I feel unhappy/I am so sad/I lost the best friend/That I’ve ever had”). Next, it’s Ozzy’s turn. Kelly was a child once and he loves her a lot. However, she’s growing up and needs to go off on her own. (“She is my baby/I love her so/But it’s too late now/I’ve let her go”). Ozzy’s voice is worn and ragged.

In the chorus, they both say they are becoming different people. Unfortunately, a choir gives their two cents and sings sorrowful “oohs” in the background. (“We’re going through changes (ohh)/We’re going through changes (ahh”).

Kelly comments they have many memories together. She tells her father she loves him but she must go. (“We’ve shared the years/We’ve shared each day/I love you daddy/But I found my way”). Kelly’s delivery is really off in this verse. She’s snappish and entitled instead of grateful. It’s like something she’s supposed to say but doesn’t mean. Ozzy tells her that she already knows that the world isn’t fair and parrots exactly what Kelly said. (“You know the world/Is an evil place/My baby is grown now/She’s found her way”).

The choir returns but it’s bolder and louder than before as they sing their “oohs” first. After Kelly and Ozzy sing, they wail and blubber in their overzealous anguish.

As the choir overcompensates for the lack of emotion being shown by both the Osbournes, Kelly says she didn’t really miss her father at first. However, she does now. She can still remember the episode when she and her father shared a heartwarming moment. Then, she stomped off and complained to anyone who would listen about her music not f***king taking off. (“It took so long/To realize/I can still hear/His last goodbyes”). The choir prettily sings “last goodbye.” Ozzy confesses that he’s afraid for her, even though she isn’t, and wants to her to be a baby all over again. (“Now all my days/I’m filled in fears/Wish I could go back/And change the years”). The choir translates his slurred and shaky vocals for the listeners.

In the chorus, the choir picks up even more slack by singing “changes” after them. (“We’re going through changes/We’re going through changes (changes)/We’re going through… Changes”).

Kelly adds three “changes” at the end. With each time, the choir overpowers her. By the end, the choir members are almost gasping for air from the near-shouting over Kelly’s manufactured vocals.

While the reintrepretation itself was a good idea, the actual music is not. The choir only serves one purpose: make something listenable about the single. Kelly’s voice is artificial while Ozzy is just there, going through the motions.

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