Keen to stress the more 'scripted' nature of their second album compared with their first, Astro Tough is certainly more cohesive than their enjoyably chaotic 2018 debut Now! (in a minute). There is a tangible sense of progression from A to B, from the album's introductory parable "The Doll", which focuses on an infant's struggle with loss with LoneLady like objectivity, to the LP's closer, the time-weary piano ballad "The Farmer" that deals with legacy and an innate desire for goodness. In between these two standouts that give the album real purpose, however, the project does at times struggle for direction, as themes become blurred and somewhat confused.
With audiobooks, nothing is ever as it seems. Each song presents a puzzle waiting to be solved, its myriad of lyrical allusions drawing you into a vortex of contradictions. Less songs, and more shifting sands, the project's 2018 debut 'Now! (in a minute)' offers supreme synth pop surrealism, re-imagining The Human League's 'Dare' as one of Dali's melting clocks.