From one reality TV hit to another – “Changes” wouldn’t have existed without The Osbournes, an everyday story of a loveably decayed rock star and his no-bullshit manager-wife. The show’s surface dynamics played into some hoary old stereotypes of calamitous husbands and hypercompetent wives, but it was still far more watchable than most celebrity vehicles.

In the wider culture, The Osbourne’s main effect was to shift the centre of Osbourne fame from Ozzy to Sharon, the effects of which we’ll come to in time. But it also made not-at-all-reluctant stars of the kids, Kelly and Jack, and coincided with the launch of Kelly’s pop career. This was a great deal less entertaining than the show, and required the iron lung of her celebrity dad to sustain itself – when your first single as a famous kid is “Papa Don’t Preach”, it’s clear what the plan is. A couple of subsequent tracks were more likeable, but less actually liked, and “Changes” is a return to the intergenerational well, a cover of Black Sabbath’s maudlin coke ballad with the lyrics changed to be about parental stress, not divorce.

That sounds desperate as a concept, and it sounds twice as desperate as a record. The original “Changes” achieves a kind of fucked grandeur because Ozzy’s buzzsaw wail suits the song’s indulgent male woe. It’s not a track you’d want to live in, but it plainly has its uses. Kelly Osbourne doesn’t have her Dad’s pipes, and by this point her Dad doesn’t have them either. It’s a ghastly record, both performers flailing around in the song, unable to rise even to the level of conviction this schlock requires, as it asks you to believe Ozzy is falling out with, not bailing out, his daughter. Even the show’s biggest fans – you’d hope – would have reached Kelly’s mawkish yelp of “I love you Daddy” and realised they’d been sold a particularly incontinent pup.

Score: 2

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