Admittedly "One Word," the lead single from Ms. Osbourne's sophomore album release, was something of a revelation. A magnificent slice of retro Electropop owing a significant debt to Visage's seminal New Wave anthem "Fade To Grey," "One Word" had me hoping that young Kelly was poised to re-launch herself as a chilly electronic dancefloor queen with this full album. However, while I wouldn't say the rest of "Sleeping In The Nothing" is bad, a full-on dance album this is not, and almost none of the other tracks find themselves well suited for the discothèque. In fact, there's really only one other song that find itself ready for club consumption in its current guise, "Suburbia" (not a Pet Shop Boys cover), which starts out with the type of deeply pumping bassline popularized with tracks like "Show Me Love" by Robin S. but quickly layers on a bubblier overall production to support Kelly's winsomely earnest teen angst vocals, making for an odd- though not entirely unsuccessful- juxtaposition.
As far as the rest of the album goes, the other songs are more New-Wave influenced Pop-Rock tracks, think perhaps MTV acts circa 1983 or the "Valley Girl" soundtrack, with crunchy guitar lines overlaid by quirky synthesizer chords lines. "I Can't Wait" is a perfect example of this and effectively makes the most of Ms. Osbourne's yearning vocal. Wittiest moment for the CD comes on "Secret Love" where Kelly campily incorporates a few lines from Veruca Salt's show-stopper "I Want It Now" from "Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory" while the deliciously giddy "Edge Of Your Atmosphere" zips along at breakneck pace and wouldn't sound out of place on a Men Without Hats album with bouncy synth lines and handclapped accents. Unfortunately, my promo copy came without any liner notes as I'd be curious to know if Kelly actually had a hand in writing the most lyrically notable song, "Don't Touch Me," which angrily deals with the difficult topic of date rape and earns the CD its parental advisory for explicit lyrics.
Now Kelly isn't the world's strongest singer so she's primarily carrying "Sleeping In The Nothing" with her verve and personality and thus the album will probably do best with Ms. Osbourne's teenage fans who watch her on "The Osbournes" TV show and are already familiar with her overall style and attitude. More strictly dance-oriented aficionados may prefer to just buy the CD single for "One Word."