Who would have thought that Ozzy and Sharon’s pink-haired, loudmouthed spawn-child would have the #1 dance song in America? Sudden celeb-reality fame earned Kelly Osbourne an insta-deal with her dad’s record label, Epic Records (both father and daughter are no longer with the company), but she was originally positioned to compete with the likes of teen rockers like Avril Lavigne, not Britney Spears. Though not exactly groundbreaking, “One Word,” the first single from the Second Coming of Kelly Osbourne, is an infectious slice of Euro dance-pop dressed with French dialogue and a charmingly uncomplicated lyric (not to mention a striking black-and-white music video based on Jean Luc Godard’s 1965 sci-fi thriller Alphaville, reportedly one of Osbourne’s favorite films). Unfortunately, the rest of the songs on Sleeping In The Nothing—the title of which is taken from The NeverEnding Story and references Osbourne’s recent drug dependence—don’t exactly live up to that song’s promise. Producer/songwriter Linda Perry manages to authentically capture the prescribed New Wave sound and, while her synthesizers often upstage Osbourne’s limited voice, she successfully coaxes a surprising amount of personality out of the singer (she’s bratty on “Uh Oh,” with its cockney hook and shimmery guitars, and even sexy on “Secret Lover,” one of four tracks co-written by Osbourne), but it’s unlikely that any of the Big Four (soon to be Big Three?) would greenlight any of the songs that make up the album’s second half. “Suburbia” doesn’t sound retro, it sounds dated, and when Osbourne does finally rock out on the date rape anthem “Don’t Touch Me While I’m Sleeping,” the results are simultaneously embarrassing and hilarious: “I hope you had a good time, motherfucker!/Now it’s time to say goodbye to your balls!” Okay, so it’s more hilarious than embarrassing. The one thing the album is not is full of itself.
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