‘Nurture’ Porter Robinson’s first album since 2012
Donovan Wilson – Reporter
For his first album since 2012, Porter Robinson opens up his exploratory and inventive journey with “Lifelike,” an overture of whirring electronics and smooth symphonics that translate smoothly into the meat of the record.
“I cherished the flowers beneath my feet but then something must have changed in me,” belts out Porter on “Look at the sky,” a song that lyrically sets the tone for an album about changing and finding comfort in depression and anxiety. The song serves as an anthem and a message to the bad nights that we won’t succumb to our bad thoughts and fight to live to see morning.
The first single for the album and subsequently Porter’s first solo single in eight years was the jittery and beautifully produced “Get Your Wish.” He explains this feeling of watching somebody float as you sink and wishing them the best as you can barely see yourself try to swim.
The symphony floats back to the surface and takes center stage on “Wind Tempos,” where they intertwine with sounds of distorted rain, crickets and frogs, making for a twisted ambience of sorts. Vocals float in and out as you feel Porter drift into his own mind.
“Musician” sees a lot of introspection. Porter starts to look at his own career and laments on how he does it to make him feel the things he needs to feel otherwise he is not happy. These songs are the thoughts, feelings and embodiment of the last eight years of his life.
The blips, blaps and discombobulated sounds of the record are welcomed with acoustic guitars on “do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do.” Porter’s voice on this song sounds as if it is filtered through a radio and transmitted to us from some other ethereal plane. Sounds of children yelling and playing layer the second half of the song, making it feel as if we are outside, at a playground where a rave is being hosted.
“Mother,” an open letter to his mom, a sweet message and displayed over what feels like space invaders forming a rock band. The fuzz of the music coats the vocals and makes the listener fade into space.
“Dullscythe” is essentially 4 minutes of Porter’s piano and computer fighting for supremacy. If a computer glitch was a song, it would be this song. It feels like a bad trip as you descend down from this ethereal space “Mother” created and eventually land back on earth, as giant synths coat the end of the song.
Porter tries his hand at a love song in “Sweet Time”. He explains wanting to die for a long time but now does not even want to think about it. He wants to live life twice as to meet this person multiple times because “I’m not satisfied to know you just once.”As the album continues to mellow down and fizzle out, “Mirror,” the most direct singing to the listener porter does on the whole album, brings the mood down.
It is recognizing what the people who use him want from him and acknowledging what he knows he is worth, loving what he sees in the mirror.
“Something Comforting” is a plea to be told everything is going to be okay. It is essentially Porter telling the listener he is not okay and needs someone to tell him he will be because he can’t foresee it The acoustic guitars float in once more on the beautiful ballad “Blossom.”
This song lacks any true structure or chorus and feels more so as a stream of consciousness as a way of saying goodbye to somebody or something. Porter teams up with Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, a DJ from the UK for another song around this idea of nature and water.
It is like the whole point of this album is Porter saying he is rising from the water and being born again through nature. The album ends with the somber song “Trying To Feel Alive.” Porter ends his spiritual journey by declaring that he’s spent too long thinking he needs to feel amazing 24/7.
He is telling the listener something we all need to hear right now: “It’s okay to feel hopeless as long as you know you deserve the sunlight when it trickles in through the window.”