Oso Oso – “Real Stories of True People, Who Kind of Looked Like Monsters” Review

Posted: by Colin



Memorizing the correct sequencing of words in the title of Oso Oso’s (ex-State Lines) debut full length Real Stories of True People, Who Kind of Looked Like Monsters will take you much longer than it does for you to enjoy the album once-through. Real Stories of True People, or what I’ve commonly and incorrectly referred to over the last two months as True Stories of Real People is everything you’d expect from a seasoned veteran of the DIY music community. It’s a collection of catchy but raw, unexaggerated songs that were most likely based on personal experiences, written in a bedroom late at night, then recorded with the help of a few friends. However, the album with the longest acronym of all time ‘RSOTPWKOLLM’ is a re-creation and second coming for Long Island musician Jade Lalitri, who fully intends to leave it all on the line with Oso Oso.

The good news is that the exceptionally long album title and the fantastic eerie artwork (which features children with masks that somewhat resemble the creepy South Park ‘Woodland Critter’ characters) aren’t the only lasting impressions the album will leave you with. This album is more of a logical progression from Jade’s prior work with State Lines, than it is from Oso Oso’s self titled debut EP. Within State Lines’ discography it would fit nicely between their two albums Hoffman Manor and For The Boats. Jade’s songwriting growth along with the album’s production creates a layered, dueling sound. It’s slightly less aggressive than what we’re familiar with, yet the hooks are bigger, faster, and longer than ever before.

An instance of this is found in the album’s fourth song “Where You’ve Been Hiding” which could be overlooked due to its position behind the album’s single “Another Night”. A sorrowfully abrupt song about a failed relationship due to masked feelings and deceit is pinpointed after the song’s bridge, where the pace quickens as symbol of frustration. It’s brief moments of experimental risk found not only in this song, but throughout the album’s thirty-plus minutes that makes each song so enjoyable.

Or, maybe what makes Real Stories of True People profound is the passion, which is not lacking by any means. ‘Easy Way Out’ explores the projection of problems onto others convinced that they can solve them for you, only to encounter the realistically swift refusal in “This Must Be A Place”. And considering Lalitri’s previous work, it wouldn’t be a proper full-length release without one of his signature acoustic ballads. Consistently showcasing his ability to write earnest lyrics meshed with stripped down but memorable acoustic instrumentation in his prior releases, “This Must Be My Exit” is no different.

Real Stories of True People isn’t necessarily groundbreaking, but one of the celebrated aspects of music is that an album doesn’t have to be unique in order to be considered extremely enjoyable. Oso Oso’s ability to write breezy hooks accompanied by tastefully unfiltered lyricism will lead to individuals discovering, and ultimately, resonating with the album. Hell, if we were speed dating, judging from the title alone, the album would say “listen to me, I’m serious and effortlessly relatable while also knowing how to have a good time”.