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Kelly Osbourne Shut Up Review

Album. Released 2003.  

BBC Review

Her voice ain't no Aguilera, but what Kelly lacks in vocal range she claws back in...

Bren O'Callaghan 2003

Kelly Osbourne is the crown princess of Satan's jukebox. Her breakout debut will appease fans of this scowling pro-shopper while reloading the ammo holster for those eager to take aim, fire, and watch her plummet back to earth.

Shut Up (which was to have been titled 'Buy Me') smacks of multiple collaborations and producer credits. It veers wildly between Skate-Lite, Pop Metal and requisite Rrriot Girl. Strangely, a cohesive sound of sorts bleeds through the tough-as-nails façade, marred only by the startling misjudgment of an awkward and ill-suited ballad to mommy dearest ("More Than Life Itself"). Yet even knee deep in slush, Kelly soldiers on, bashing errant boyfriends, railing against the media machine and tapping an expansive geyser of teenage venom.

Aided by her pre-packaged band members, Kelly belly-flops into a reliable bitch sista's soundscape - the likes of Veruca Salt, Bikini Kill, and Hole spring to mind - but without the sloganeering. Opening track "Disconnected" bursts the cork on a veritable magnum of spite, with forthright if deliciously daft lyrics; 'Hope you're drowning in a pool you've fallen in...'Cos you can't swim'.

Her anger gathers pace with the likes of "Contradiction" and "On Your Own", only stopping for the fantastically derivative "Coolhead", a bastard cousin of The B52s "Rock Lobster". Whereas other tracks recycle a pleasant if not particularly original Foo Fighter-ish vibe, this tackles a sixties beach boogie hook. It's a fusion cookery dish that shouldn't work yet still tickles the palette.

Second single release "Shut Up" seems closest to Kelly's petulant self, throwing her tantrum-in-a-mansion. The album's final track is a cover of Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach". More than any other, this track captures the zeitgeist rise of The Osbournes MTV show and Kelly's infamous potty mouth in three minutes of raucous, strangled verse. Her voice ain't no Aguilera, but what Kelly lacks in vocal range she claws back in vitriol.

Still not a fan? You tell her then. I'm keeping well out of it...

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