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Carmen Rizzo

Looking Through Leaves

(Electrofone; US: 16 Aug 2010; UK: 11 May 2010)

Los Angelean Carmen Rizzo has had a varied career as a producer, artist, and mixer. He’s worked with everyone from Seal to Paul Oakenfold. Though he’s dabbled in world music, his solo albums haven’t strayed too far from the listener-friendly side of the electronic music spectrum, and Looking Through Leaves is no different. Like Oakenfold, Rizzo uses a variety of vocalists to front his immaculate, tasteful productions. Things actually work best when they’re at their most mellow. “Until You Find Another”, featuring Shana Halligan of LA lounge lizards Bitter:Sweet, is orchestral, glacial, and beat-free. Grant Lee Phillips’ evocative croon is welcome anywhere, and turns the low-key “Bring the Mountain Down” into something special. Otherwise, the album deals in what once might have been called “trance”. That is: clean, danceable electronica that leaves little lasting impression.

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John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.


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