Any fans of Astor's early work with The Loft and The Weather Prophets will be delighted with his return to the jingle-jangle indie spectrum. After two decades of more experimental music, 'Spilt Milk' is a welcome return home.
The opening two tracks 'Really Something' and 'Mr Music' could easily be part of the Kinks’ greatest hits collection due to Astor’s fine vocals. 'Really Something' is a simple and beautiful number which will have fans of Real Estate drooling.
'Mr Music' is the star act on this album. Astor nails the Kinks classic 'Waterloo Sunset' vibe so well that you'll believe you have heard this song a thousand times before on first listen. ‘Mr Music’ is more than just a Kinks pastiche though. Astor’s skill of supplying wit, charm and melancholy in a character within a song gives him a great identity of his own.
Astor’s sombre route continues with ‘Perfect Life’ which has healthy dose of Ian Brown’s ‘Deep Pile Dreams’ about it. Switch off mentally you'll mistake this for a love song. Dig a little deeper and the sarcasm and bitterness come to the surface as a partner continually lets an unwanted third person to a relationship.
'Oh You' closes the album with more straight forward pop brilliance. The opening riff is similar to Lemon Jelly's classic hook on the 'Staunton Lick' and as the track meanders along it conjures memories of Belle & Sebastian's glorious 'Boy With The Arab Strap'.
With the loss of Lemmy, John Bradbury and Bowie within two weeks, Astor's foray into his past delivers richness and warmth much needed in the alternative music community. They say timing is everything and this mid to slow tempo pop music is the perfect tonic for the recent swelling of sadness.