Considering that Kelly Osbourne made her name as a petulant, self-obsessed, foul-mouthed but always supremely entertaining teenage rebel on The Osbournes
TV show, you'd imagine the temptation would be to translate this endearing snottiness directly into music. Thankfully and surprisingly, Shut Up
doesn't chase the zeitgeist dollar with either numbing nu-metal or lightweight skate punk. Instead it goes for a brand of polished new wave that's much like the girl herself: brash but insecure, straight-talking yet sophisticated, cool but often hilarious.
The most obvious precedent is Celebrity Skin by Hole. Melodies are gum-chewingly breezy, infused with FM radio vibrancy and built on harmonies designed for cruising down to Venice Beach with the top down. The attitude is refreshingly human, with "Come Dig Me Out" actually managing a touch of poignancy and the title track embodying the album's theme, namely that Osbourne is her own person and everyone should stop messing. The girl even manages to carry the tunes (that horrific version of "Papa Don't Preach" is buried as a hidden track) with a decent amount of suss and style. It all begins to get a little too saccharine over the course of the entire album but generally this is a far more lovable and much more accomplished album than anyone would have thought possible. --Ian Watson