Even with heavy-metal genes, electronically enhanced vocals, and a fashion-punk backing band, Kelly Osbourne couldn't rock. Her debut disc, Shut Up, filled with powerless ballads and mild outbursts, stocks more bargain bins than Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath. Like Pink, another artist who turned in a stylistically unflattering inaugural release, Osbourne asked songwriter Linda Perry to revamp her approach. She responded with Sleeping in the Nothing, an encyclopedic collection of New Wave production touches. Like Madonna's early efforts, Sleeping requires its singer to do little except tunefully transport can't-miss hooks through a maze of synthesizers and handclaps. Sleeping could become a camp classic, a far better fate than Shut Up's forgotten footnote status.
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