Carmen Rizzo – The Lost Art of the Idle Moment (CD)

The amount of guest stars that Carmen Rizzo has on this album is impressive; on this album Esthero, Jem, and Grant Lee Phillips all find their way onto the disc. The dreamy vocals of Esthero during “Too Rude” allows the arrangements of Rizzo to really reach their potential, as there is a Bjork/sixties dynamic at play throughout the entire track. The infusion of more atmosphere and some scratching a la Kid Koala makes “Overlooked Happiness” reflect a new found appreciation for techno, even if Rizzo’s arrangements on this song still feel suited for the soundtrack to a Bond movie. The compositions present on “The Lost Art of the Idle Moment” are not quick by any stretch of the imagination; with each track averaging out at over four minutes, Rizzo shows eir chops by not falling back into a rut in the later sections of some of the songs here. There may not be a track on this album that would be an easy fit for commercial radio, but Rizzo does a hell of a job creating music that is both amenable to music freaks and pop-infused enough to be widely accessible to the normal fan. On tracks like “I’ll Carry You” there is not an overbearing amount of instrumentation to clog up the disc; whatever is present is tied together with all other constituent parts for maximum effect. The old axiom “simpler is better” rings true on the tracks on “The Lost Art”. The tension created by the arrangement during tracks like “I’ll Carry You” is fantastic; what was nothing a few seconds before is attacking every bit of white space to engulf listeners in a blanket of sound. At over fifty minutes, “The Lost Art” is not a disc that someone can necessarily listen all the way through with ease; the ability of Rizzo to come up with pages of material in times measured in words makes the album dense as all get out. In a period when the single is king, the album oriented nature of Carmen Rizzo’s music stands as a sterling example of what should be done in the industry. With tracks having influences as diverse as 60s lounge music and “Behavior”-era Pet Shop Boys, there is a tremendous range of ways both listeners and artists can go during the disc’s runtime. Well worth the time, “The Lost Art of the Idle Moment” should find its way into CD players of anyone truly into music. Top Tracks: Bring It Back To Me, Farther

Rating: 6.0/10

[JMcQ]

Carmen Rizzo – The Lost Art of the Idle Moment / 2005 The Lab / 11 Tracks / http://www.carmenrizzo.com / http://www.universal.com / Reviewed 22 December 2005

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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