On Phoning It In, Los Angeles indie pop duo Rizzo shines with a natural and resoundingly up-beat sound, embracing minimalism and solid vocals as their primary instrument. Drummer Sarah (DeAngelis) and guitarist Jen (Abercrombie) share vocal duties throughout the 13-track disc, which starts with the churning urgency of "The Joke's On You." While most of the tracks shine with the twosome feeding off each other with a steady dose of frenzied pop, and defiant and fun lyrics, "Lifetime Guarantee" is a tender acoustic offering. Without question, the highlight of the disc is Jen and Sarah's exuberant harmonies and the less-is-more instrumentation. The a cappella "I Know It's Late" marks the beginning of the end of the record, giving way to the toned-down "Right Side of the Tracks," an almost folk-rock gem, featuring the softest vocals on the disc. The infectious "Let It Ride" is classic Rizzo, as the duo embraces fuzz, distortion, and hard-pounding drumming, with the pair's vocals matching each other step for step. The bare-bones songs on Phoning It In chronicle the band's early years, and emphasize the energy of the band's energetic live sets, with Sarah standing to drum and sing, and Jen's guitar work and vocals completing the harmony. A surprising cover of Prince's "Raspberry Beret" ends the disc with more fun and frolic. Sympathy For The Record Industry Records released Phoning It In in 2001.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer