Review: “Shut Up” by Kelly Osbourne (CD, 2002)

Today’s POP RESCUE from a fate unknown is the debut 2002 album from Kelly Osbourne titled Shut Up. Does this album need you to stop and listen, or do you wish it would Shut Up? Read on…

Kelly Osbourne - Shut Up (2002) album
Kelly Osbourne’s 2002 debut album ‘Shut Up’

The 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.

Kelly Osbourne’s lead single ‘Papa Don’t Preach’


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.

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.

Me shut up? No, you shut up!

Rated 2 stars - A tough listen!
  • 2002 UK CHART POSITION: #31
  • POP RESCUE COST: £1.00 from a Poundland store.

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