[19 January 2011]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
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.