Real Stories… is anxious; it’s anthemic. I want to bob my head and sing-along to every track until my lungs give out. The album is influenced heavily by Lilitri’s punk rock origins, with a sizable dose of pop to boast. I’m almost hesitant to call it a pop-punk album as that might limit it in some way, though it is what every pop-punk album should strive to be.
Lyrically and thematically, Real Stories… is on another level. It manages to perfectly navigate the terrifying world of the I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing twentysomething. It’s about falling in love. It’s about growing into different people. It’s about falling out of love.
Take “Track One, Side A” where Lilitri opens the album with a cautionary “When it all falls in on itself, you gotta cushion the fall,” as if, at the same time, we are getting a glimpse of the end.
Or album high-point, “Where You’ve Been Hiding,” which sees Lilitri uncomfortably honest, nervously drifting through the motions of capturing the essence of a relationship before it ends.
It is a breakup album at its core, but avoids the pitfalls that often sour them. Other breakup albums, in between all the bitterness, the pettiness, and the shaming, don’t typically treat both parties like human beings, making them cliche and problematic. By evading this, Lilitri has created something more self-actualized and longer lasting.
Real Stories of True People Who Kind of Look Like Monsters is far and away one of the best albums I’ve heard this year. In fact, stop reading this and go listen to it 10 or 15 times like I’m about to.