October 25, 2004

oRSo "my dreams are back and they are better than ever"

Chicago's oRSo, the free jazz-slash-country-slash-whatever the hell you want to call it project of Phil Spirito (Rex, Red Red Meat) has delivered yet another utterly wonderful little record filled with all sorts of sounds, and it's about time. Bearing the same sort of pleasantly unclassifiable roots folky whatever songs that made them so appealing with Long Time By, the appropriately titled My Dreams Are Back and They Are Better Than Ever proves to be a wonderfuly confounding yet always quite enjoyable listen.

When I say oRSo is unclassifiable, I do so with amused and impressed confusion. Each listen yielded a different interpretation of what they were setting out to accomplish, and as this review is being written, it's impossible to say with any certainty that any of these particular interpretations are right or wrong. On one listen, songs like "Wedding Day," "Everyman's Blues" and "Old Times" made me think of oRSo as a jazz band with a banjo. At other times, such as on "Milanesa Two," they sound like a country band that's inspired by early 1960s jazz innovators like John Coltrane or Eric Dolphy. After hearing "Oh Look Singing I Can Watch This" and "Crown Point," I thought oRSo sounded like an experimental string quartet who were augmented by a very distinctive folk singer. Each listen to My Dreams Are Back And They Are Better Than Ever differed ever-so-slightly from the one before,

That oRSo's stylistic inspirations are so incongruous makes their music so appealing. You really can't be sure of what's going to come next, and it's the anticipation that comes from listening that makes My Dreams Are Back And They Are Better Than Ever such an enjoyable listen. Throw in just a slight lo-fi quality to the songs, and you'll quickly discover a traditional sounding record that sounds wonderfully out of this world

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.bintofamily.com
Label Website: http://www.perishablerecords.com

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