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Tuesday, December 10, 2002


NEW ON CD

art



Ozzy’s offspring spins a
well-crafted rocker


"Shut Up" | Kelly Osbourne | Epic



Review by Gary C.W. Chun
gchun@starbulletin.com

If your musical tastes are mainly based on entertainers and celebrities you've seen on TV, picking Kelly Osbourne's debut album wouldn't be a bad choice (over, say, "American Idol").

On the megapopular MTV reality series, she comes off as your basic loud, opinionated and bratty young woman who likes to talk smack about nearly anyone and anything that comes into her purview. But since she's the offspring of Ozzy, she has it in her mind that, with her pedigree and newfound celebrityhood, she can -- and will, dammit! -- serve up a rock album you cannot ignore.

And "Shut Up," for what it is, is a well-crafted, four-to-the-floor rocker, although both Osbourne's limited vocal range and equally limited subject matter gets a bit wearying after nine consecutive songs. While her love songs -- specifically the rock crunch of "Too Much of You" and the quiet, sensitive (and, therefore, nearly insufferable) "More Than Life Itself" -- are serviceable at best, Osbourne especially delights in giving the kiss-off to all the boys she's known and loved. So she's right in her element on songs like the title track, the catchy "Contradiction," the retro swagger of "Coolhead" and "On Your Own." (Her rather inspired cover of "Papa Don't Preach" is tacked on as a hidden track.)

Osbourne's band Powerpack gives her some able backup in their raucous play, plus in co-songwriting and studio production.

But if you really want to hear how girls can rock with authority, check out the latest Donnas album, "Spend the Night" (Atlantic), where the young quartet is blossoming into a great, hellacious combination of AC/DC and the Ramones. They'd eat Kelly for lunch!



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