POP RESCUE: ‘Shut Up’ by Kelly Osbourne (CD, 2002)


Today’s POP RESCUE is the debut 2002 album from Kelly Osbourne titled Shut Up.

Kelly Osbourne - Shut Up (2002) albumThe album comes roaring in with Disconnected, and the music of her father Ozzy must surely have made a mark on her. This song is defiant and unapologetic in its use of roaring guitar and heavy, fast, rock drums and fills. It chugs along nicely, but Kelly’s vocals are somewhat quiet, which is a shame as the sleeve notes give it some great lyrics that should have shone here.

This is followed by Come Dig Me Out, which feels like the same drums, and guitars, but with the vocals turned up a bit. There’s little to differentiate this song from the previous one. This was to be the third and final single from the album but it was cancelled when Kelly was dropped from her label. The song is a cover of a 1998 little-known album song Dig Me Out by Michelle Lewis.

Up next is Contradiction, and this song is a romping rock song, which is quite catchy in both the verses and chorus with it’s ‘I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you‘, and probably should have been a single.

Coolhead follows this, and this song, like the last, seems to see Kelly warmed up and this feels like it’s some kind of 60s cover, and it’s very catchy. Some male vocals duel her, and this works as a great contrast in the chorus. I’d have put this out as a single too.

Fifth track is Right Here, which has a great guitar and drum beat, but again, Kelly’s vocals feel secondary and lost in the noise.

Title track, and second single Shut Up is up next, and this sees roaring guitars partner with Kelly who is definitely taking no crap in this song, complete with ‘blah blah bla-bla-bla-blah-blah‘ lyrics showing just how much she doesn’t care. The song is fairly catchy, and she hits the rock vocals perfectly. This track got to #12 in the UK singles chart.

On The Run opens with some studio banter before the drumsticks signal the start of the song. A wonderful roaring guitar chugs in, and this works as a great partner for her vocals. A thumping bass drum feels like it is forever trying to outpace the guitar but never succeeds.

The pace changes for next song On Your Own, which gives Kelly space to show off a diverse range of vocals against a wonderfully fast beat. I soon found myself tapping my foot (quickly) to this song. This is quite a catchy track. There’s an instrumental section in the run up to 2min, and this helps to build the song up before Kelly returns for the finale.

Too Much Of You follows this, and this is another one of the catchy tracks on the album. Again, there’s plenty of roaring guitar around the 2min mark, and it really takes the track up a gear before the inevitable finale. Kelly’s vocals really shine here.

There’s quite a fun track up next – Everything’s Alright – and one that’s considerably lighter than a few of the songs here, and one that rides at a few different tempos. Just like Coolhead, this song has a distinct 60’s feeling to it, and that really seems to suit her.

Penultimate track More Than Life Itself opens like a dreamy ballad, giving Kelly a chance to show off her vocal power. Her vocals are pretty good here, with only a few stumbles. The guitars and drums remain mellow and keep out of her way – instead allowing her to shine. This feels like a song to her parents, and lyrically it feels a bit cringeworthy.

The album closes with lead single, and a cover of Madonna’s hit Papa Don’t Preach, which will undoubtedly have been a comment towards her father. This version is inevitably harder and heavier than Madonna’s, and it works pretty well. Kelly scored a #3 UK hit single with this song. The menacing bassline works wonderfully, and Kelly sounds confident against it. She lets out a great exasperated growl at the end as if she’s fed up with her father’s advice – genius.

Over all, I guess this album reminds me somewhat of Transvision Vamp – at times raw, most of the time rock, and often a bit of a indistinguishable mess.

There’s little variance amongst these songs. The ’60s’ sounding tracks, and the Madonna cover are highlights here, but some of the earlier tracks feel like one with 2 second pauses in it.

Where is Kelly Osbourne now?

After the failure of this album, Kelly was dropped by her record label. The album was re-packaged and released under the name Changes with extra tracks, and her cover of Black Sabbath’s hit Changes, as a duet with her father Ozzy Osbourne. It gave them a #1 UK hit single.

A year and a half later in 2005, Kelly managed to chart for her final time to date, with single One Word, reaching #9. This single was markedly more 80s pop than anything found on Shut Up. It was taken from her album Sleeping In The Nothing, which stalled in the UK at #57.

Following the success of her mother Sharon Osbourne, and the success of The Osbournes tv series in which she had starred prior to this album, Kelly has forged a career in acting, presenting, and competing and judging roles in various celebrity reality series. She has also found success in theatre including in Chicago.

POP RESCUE RATING

  • POP RESCUE RATING: 2 / 5
  • 2002 UK CHART POSITION: #31
  • POP RESCUE COST: £1.00 from a Poundland store.

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