“I drink milk straight from the carton!”Personal Trainer harmonise in the climax of new single “Milk” with stubborn earnestness. Give or take, that’s not the usual type of lyric you’ll find in a 3/4 soul crooner, and it’s quite amazing we find ourselves both bemused and moved. Then again, Personal Trainer aren’t your typical band to try their hand at soul crooners to begin with. They nevertheless try dammit. And that’s exactly the aw-shucks charm of it all.
The Dutch band executes the art of the pastiche winsomely: it’s neither self-aware piss take nor sad sack out-of-its-own-depth karaoke. Personal Trainer seem genuinely attuned to what makes classics such as Al Green’s version of “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?” tick, and in the song’s more glistened-up production style, find their own charmingly flawed zone in it.
“Milk” is accompanied by a cute animated video showing a childhood picture of the band’s charismatic founder Willem Smit, well, drinking milk straight from the carton, from what I would assume is a habit he never could quite kick. But since this song is also a serenade by a hopeless romantic, it’s hard not to see “drinking milk straight from the carton” as an allegory for wearing your big bleeding heart on your sleeve, not afraid of some spillage along the way.