After a seven-year hiatus, songwriter and producer Porter Robinson has returned with his highly anticipated second album. ‘Nurture’ arrives after a difficult period for Robinson, sonically documenting the anxiety related to the pressures of success, as well as his brother’s diagnosis with a rare and aggressive cancer.
The Grammy-winning artist’s return experiments with piano, digital synths, and artificially pitched vocals. The standout cut from the album, ‘Look at the Sky’, is an ode to the restorative power of music. There’s a wonderful rawness to Porter’s vocals, confronting his troubles of the past with his blossoming musical pallet. ‘Musician’ is a track that, during a first listen, exudes a sound that is wholly euphoric. However, like other offerings on the album, it’s littered with moments of jaunty darkness.
The lyrical frenzies, when coupled with competing instrumentation, at times feels perhaps too frantic, but you can’t fault the producer’s efforts to craft a body of work that carries more substance than clubby touchstones. As swift as Porter’s rise has been, he has taken time to establish himself as a producer. His temporally fragmented discography feels like a collection of works in progress - stepping stones, documenting his turbulent journey from musical prodigy to adulthood.
Words: Josh Crowe
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