Porter Robinson - Nurture
Apr 23, 2021
82
Nurture is not just an album, it is also a life lesson. Porter Robinson has come close to the basics in order to develop himself artistically, offering a lively and unabashed adventure, and for this reason Nurture is seductive both in its great qualities and in its flaws.

It's no surprise that Porter Robinson has become both a fixture and a fascinating artist over the years. Indeed the emergence of the Atlanta native at the age of 20 years old has made the effect of a bomb on the electronic circuit / club by chaining unintentionally positions in the charts until becoming very viral in 2014. What's even more surprising is that Porter Robinson is a very versatile artist who is hard to classify and even in today's time, he is able to do festival music, club music, EDM, Synthpop, Electro-House while ultimately keeping a constant essence for Electro Pop. This is also where the magic of Porter Robinson lies, an artist who aims for the artistic rather than the search for radio singles, endowed with considerable talent and impressive potential. Like any artist who stands out, Porter Robinson not only relies on his versatility, but he often incorporates the spirit of Japanese music (eccentric and contemporary), articulated around an infectious energy and melody pitched. To hide nothing to you, I confess that my discovery of Porter Robinson is rather late since it is through the confinement of last year that I began to put interested, me who follows for a long time remained generally allergic to the electronic music of club. Although his debut and his first album Worlds are very promising and often of good quality, it is especially what he offers us since 2020 that conquered me. Yet it was not an easy task, since my first resistance to him was based on the effect that his melodies both vocally and musically had difficulty to convince me. It only took a few listens to realize that not only was I wrong, but that Porter Robinson deserved the status he currently has. But when you think about it, is this status a curse for him? Unfortunately for him, Porter Robinson's early and resounding success (as well as family problems) that led to a Grammy Award nomination last year have taken a heavy toll on the artist, although it must be emphasized that this was never the intention. A difficult blow to bear for the young artist who saw a part of his youth flew away and therefore the fact that he is also taken a step back. It is besides for this reason that the heart of Nurture is turned mainly on this subject there.

With the singles released beforehand, the context and with the promises of its potential, everything leads to believe that his second album Nurture had the possibility of doing something great. Nurture is therefore a cry from the heart and a deeply intimate album, like an auto-therapy. One observes there a disconcerting maturity allied to a voluntary and exaggerated insouciance. It's as if Porter Robinson has caught up with the times on Nurture, focusing solely on sincerity, the essential things, like his mental health or his love for the music he wishes to express. Each time, positivity is the only answer to each ailment, each observation, as the way to healing. We can clearly see a 180° turn between Worlds, which sounded like an album that unveiled him to the world, and Nurture, which focuses solely on himself. A necessary inner peace for an artist who suffered so much and ended up lying to himself. It is also for this reason that the album presents very few collaborators, with almost the only voice of Porter Robinson, except samples of course. Finally everything seems on logic, and it is often in the real that we come out the best of ourselves. Everything starts with the magnificent cover of Nurture, which perfectly illustrates all that one must retain from the album and the state of mind of its author, his connection with nature, an element essentially both lyrically and musically, or this kid, like a symbol. On Nurture, Porter Robinson abandons the extravagance and festive energy to indulge in introspective expression, whether it be silky, soothing or, on the contrary, very anxious. It is often said that it is never a good idea to keep your problems, doubts and discomfort to yourself and that you should know how to evacuate them by any means. It is also said that you should see things with optimism, as a glass half full, rather than half empty. Nurture is an outlet, a deep and human liberation, like an example for all, as if it was finally necessary to follow one's heart and really do what one wanted to do despite the constraints of life.

The album begins with a delightful piano, a primary element of Nurture that you will follow as a guide through this experience, before realizing that the instrument is often a metaphor for his heartbeat. LifeLike is a rather short, but symbolic introductory song that transpires both Porter Robinson's love for Japanese music, a sort of neo-classical modern folk ballad, only instrumental, that one could find in an anime or a movie that revolves around a folktronica and Glitch elements. Of course, you can feel the naturalness and spirituality of this sweet introduction, preparing you to go on Nurture's adventure, which happens in the next song. Look At The Sky is one of the most interesting examples of this album, as it's not the "best song" to be found here, but yet it exemplifies everything Porter Robinson is fighting for. Tackling an Electro-Pop and Synthpop aesthetic, articulated around very naive melodies, Look At The Sky is a dose of hope and introspective goodness. That is to say that despite the flaws that can be reproached to this song, the power of the message and the positive energy that emerges from Porter Robinson manages to transcend and give it a fascinating dimension, where many would have failed. Although it was released earlier (in 2020), Get Your Wish offers the same theme as Look At The Sky, but with a softer, more sophisticated and seductive instrumentation. This ballad also testifies to its openness to nature, with the contribution of birdsong in particular, or by its musical sincerity, where we still find a real piano and a non-synthetic drum. It may seem trivial when you think about it, but I assure you that it makes all the difference, we clearly feel more authenticity and personality. Globally the singles released beforehand manage to live in the album and even to improve. In fact, Nurture is built with more symphonic songs that come to support and show another face of the singles, which allows the album to live in a surprising way. This scattering of ideas does not prevent in my opinion to overshadow neither the single, nor the album songs since Porter Robinson manages to manage the balance and homogeneity with sincerity and naturalness as a common element in its entirety. It is enough to listen to Wind Tempos, a fantastic instrumental surprise sprinkled with some light minimalist pitched vocals that give off some jolts. Again we find this angelic piano, inspired by the Japanese and his influence Masakatsu Takagi, Wind Tempos comes to make the link with the introduction LifeLike, but differs by the instrumental nature. It is known that even in his early days, Porter Robinson liked to get lost at times in a music that is close to the ambient, this is also one of the pure example. Everything is perfectly mastered, whether it is the progression and the construction of the song, so much so that I had not even seen that it lasted 6 minutes, when I devoured it.

Musician is probably one of my favorite songs from Nurture and even his repertoire, simply because I think it has all the right elements of Porter Robinson. I love the sample manipulation, the melody is absolutely killer and the instrumentation is literally breathtaking. Once again, Porter Robinson comes through with transformed simplicity of execution and exaggerated optimism to make this a lively and meaningful song. It's typically the kind of song that you'll listen to over and over again without any problem. It is not a coincidence that the album is followed by a kind of interlude called Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do, a wink for the musical bases. This interlude fits well in the album but unlike the previous rather similar songs, it has a hard time living alone. One could think that the middle of the album sounds at first like a low point, but in reality it's not the case, it must also be said that you just listened to some very good stuff just before. There is first Mother, a joyful and rather psychedelic electro-pop song in its rhythmic, a real love letter for his parents and which also expresses his memories of youth, a logical element to get closer to what is essential for him, before switching to Dullscyte, a complex and minimalist instrumental that takes your breath away. Once again it is necessary to insist on the fact that this kind of song keeps an indispensable place to the balance of the album, as if the "sung" songs sounded like a cry of the heart, while the others sound like an inner therapy, like an absolute meditation, focused only on oneself. On a very warm and atmospheric synthpop, Sweet Time is a very beautiful romantic song, which finally completes little by little the primordial elements that the author explores throughout the album. It is necessary to appreciate the musicality and the melodies of Sweet Time that manages to capture exactly what love provides, that is to say a kind of force of gravity that makes your heart beat, at the limit of suffocation. It is a very beautiful proof of love. Already that Mirror is a fantastic song musically, the writing and the main idea, focused on the 2 characters which offer a lyrical interaction are really the highlight of it. I find the idea clever and well realized, which again gives additional elements that enhance the main concept of Nurture, while giving depth to its musical content. Imagine that you have just taken you in the face, a stunning Mirror, but that's not all, since the album follows on one of the wonders of this album: Something Comforting. It is complex to describe how much the emotions that emerge from it are both palpable and impressive. There is first of all this catchy sample which resounds all along, without forgetting this bewitching and so warm piano which comes to rock you like a baby.

We start to arrive on the end of Nurture, but we are not yet at the end of our surprises. Blossom is a romantic lo-fi pop ballad again, with a melody as colorful as it is formidable. Accompanied by a simple guitar, Porter Robinson has fun playing his voice, which brings the little extra. Unfold offers the unique and direct collaboration of Nurture. Supported by TEED (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs), Porter Robinson proposes us an explosive and contagious synthpop, very introspective which will come to bring an additional grain of madness which fits perfectly in Nurture. A brilliant collaboration that shows a total alchemy. The album concludes with Trying To Feel Alive, a ballad that makes the link with the introduction musically, although it is different in the approach. We find again the Japanese sounds, but this time Porter Robinson makes his voice speak one last time. Finally we can summarize the album with the title of this outroduction "Trying To Feel Alive", it is concretely one of the main message of Nurture. A song that wants to be optimistic and alive, there was also no better way to conclude Nurture. Although it is not perfect, nor revolutionary, Nurture gives off something unique, something palpable that you rarely feel, except in general when listening to a very good album. I loved the optimism and discovering a little more of the author's personality, because finally it's quite uncommon to hear a speech like this one, especially when there's some unhappiness. It's just something very positive, especially in these times, it's an example.Over 60 minutes, Porter Robinson managed to master his subject, with some forgettable moments. In my opinion, he confirms a lot of the potential he had, it's a milestone for his career, hoping that he continues in this momentum.
Doublez's Tags
31 Comments
Apr 23, 2021
REVIEW DESERVES MORE ATTENTION. i didnt expect you to hop on the nurture train but im surprised. It's revolutionary to me, but not perfect. Because honestly this sphere of music lacks stuff like this
Apr 23, 2021
I really appreciate your kind words, thanks @TomBejoy ! Honestly I must admit that it was a surprise for me too, and I totally immersed myself in this adventure. I think you're absolutely right, that's what I'm talking about in this review too, but we are always looking for musical perfection, yet it's often with the imperfections that we are seduced. That's all that defines the human being, we like the defects because it's exactly what makes our charm and our personality. Nurture is the same, it's an album that is too versatile, and that often gets lost in some delirium, but when we understand the author's state of mind, everything becomes more logical. I'm happy to share the same opinion as you !
Apr 23, 2021
@DoubleZ I actually overplayed the singles to this a little too much. I have all the crowns on Last Fm on our server. It's funny, and because of that I rated this lower than you even though I liked it a lot. But I woke up today morning, took a walk through my garden and listened to Nurture again, not minding the fact that there were songs ive heard a million times. I feel like Nurture is an artistic statement for anyone, especially given the context behind the album, about finding himself, and being unable to release any music under his central alias, until the thoughts of his fans and loved ones gave him the wings to go again. I think he has a cult fanbase that follows his every move and is extremely willing to put up with all the delays to get his music, and that's beautiful. What really made me give the album such a high score wasn't the quality, one or two songs were a bit confusing and too left-field, but I felt a connection to the artist himself through the art. It's very humane.
Apr 23, 2021
Especially considered how digital this album and it's creation was, not even the guitars were organic, they were made on a free plugin named Ample Guitar. And all the vocals were pitch-shifted and bitcrushed, leaving little to no connection to the real world, except for the occasional sounds of nature. But all the sounds of breathing and the little imperfections are stuff you really miss on electronic releases. And the songwriting, while basic, all has a lot of context backing it, so it's good pop songwriting. It paints an image without too much to say.
Apr 23, 2021
But just given what this album comes from, and that it's consumers are usually 14 year old weebs, EDM heads and basstards, it doesn't really fit into that mould at all. It's a unique abomination, and some of it is experimental and wonky instead of all being synthpop. Of course I'd love more synthpop bangers like the singles, but everything else works. The compressed MIDI piano chords work like a charm as well, they are minimalist yet replayable
Apr 23, 2021
First of all I want to thank you for your analysis and your feeling because it's a perfect complement to my review, and it's a pleasure to have a feedback as sincere as this one. You just said that this album doesn't fit at all in the mold or at least in the expectations of the fans of the genre, and this is precisely the highlight of Nurture, in the sense that he not only stepped out of his comfort zone while offering fantastic content, but on top of that he made exactly the music he wanted. That alone is just remarkable. The way the singles are created, that is to say a non-generic content and that gives each time an additional element are inevitably those that will hold the most attention. But Nurture, no matter how good the singles are, would not be as good without the complementarity of the sincere songs, which make the alchemy make sense. I understand your opinion on singles and I must say that it is a trap for an artist... to continue @TomBejoy
Apr 23, 2021
The "simplistic" writing is also one of the strong points of Nurture's success, in the sense that it leaves the door open for the listener to enter into his intimacy while allowing him to identify personally with his stories, as if it were the story of life @TomBejoy
Apr 23, 2021
@DoubleZ it's my pleasure, as you are a reviewer whose work etthic I idolize along with @Chode who is also a great person and a great reviewer just like you. I really feel a bit uneasy about the fact that we won't get a follow-up to this anytime soon, which is a bit concerning. Considering only about 7-8 songs were new, that was a bit underwhelming to me. We Will Always Love You by the avalanches is an album I adore a lot more than this one, and that album had 5 singles, but 20 new interludes and tracks which felt like a summative suite of content after a 4 year hiatus from official releases under their central alias. And while porter has been hanging around the industry for the last 7 years, the fact that we only got 8 or 9 new tracks after 6 years of waiting and a year from the release of the first single was a bit concerning
Apr 23, 2021
He did remark that the pitch shifted vocals offered him a new dimension to express grief, which was something I find very unique. As you know, this project stems from a patch of depression and recovering from it. Coming to the genre part, another thing I love about this project is that it might simply not slot under a single genre tag, hence the scramble for genre tags on the side pane as you might've observed. This can be classified as anything from chiptune to folktronica to synthpop. And that may not be to everyones appeal as you might've seen a slightly negative reception today morning to go with all of the high scores the album recieved today morning. But I feel like this project is surprisingly experimental, especially with the new content. I thought it was going to be a bunch of synthpop, like I said earlier
Apr 23, 2021
It means a lot to me what you say, thanks again for that! (Big up to Chode too). What you say underlines in my opinion a problem that the listener is facing at the moment, that is to say that today the consumption of music is so fast and dense that one passes very quickly to something else. It's sure that at first sight, to have already l5 singles released beforehand (because I don't count the last one, released just the day before), it gives the impression that it loses its charm, but I think it's a pity because we quickly forget that the 5 singles were very good. I myself prefer when I discover an album with only unreleased tracks, but imagine a person who just discovered Porter Robinson with the release of Nurture the slap he must take all of a sudden. If I speak personally, not only did I love the singles, but when you like the other songs on the album (some of which have nothing to envy to the singles), the fact that there are only 9 unreleased songs is not a problem.. @TomBejoy
Apr 23, 2021
.. It's a bit of a vicious circle that we are often confronted with today.
You have summarized the situation perfectly and I am glad again that we share this opinion. It's not the album of the decade, but the fact that it's unclassifiable shows that its style and signature are rather unique, and therefore that we're listening to something new @TomBejoy
Apr 23, 2021
@DoubleZ I just wish I could listen to the album from scratch without a whiff of the singles you know. Thats what I really feel, i dont know about you. I wanted to enquire if you have the similar issue. but I really dont like the amount of singles some albums have. 3 is the saturation point, 6 was a bit too much you know. I hope more albums rollout with less singles in the near future, how about you?
Apr 23, 2021
Like I feel like the amount of hype i get something changes with the amount of singles. Even though we are some of the only people who unironically enjoy Whole Lotta Red, the amount of adrenaline I got from first listening to that beautiful abomination of an album is unbeatable, maybe the lack of singles had something to do with it. He said he was actually gonna rap on it so I expected something like that, instead we got a divisive and experimental trap album full of hilarious and entertaining vocal inflections. I feel like with this album we expected it was gonna sound like this, and it did. Now I'm gonna keep an eye on whatever porter drops though, he is slowly becoming a personal favorite of mine
Apr 23, 2021
Actually I am 100% of the same opinion as you, I prefer to discover the whole album, and rare are the examples for which it is tolerable. I think about releases like Ashnikko or Zara Larsson this year with half of the content released as a single beforehand and nothing unreleased that are worth it... unfortunately I would like like like you to be able to have a 100% unreleased album, but I don't think that the economic strategy of the music industry allows it, with the streaming and the money that artists make by privileging singles at the expense of the quality of the album format. . and for WLR it's not for nothing that it's a special album, it's all part of it, and people will understand it in the years to come! @TomBejoy
Apr 23, 2021
@DoubleZ But I Feel like with the zara larsson album, most of the singles were mediocre as well, and there was nothing to surprise us. I really think porter's intentions with the singles wasn't really money, because he never seems to be an artist whose creative freedom is limited by a label especially considering he spent 7 years on the off with his main alias. But yeah I second that, I feel like a maximum of 3 singles is enough. But atleast the new work should be impressive enough to overcome the amount of sinlges. Yeah, whole lotta red isnt the best album ever, but it sure is a very, very unique abomination of an album that only some people can truly see the light of. Sort of like what yeezus was in 2013, but this time its even more unconventional
Apr 24, 2021
In fact for Zara Larsson, the example is certainly not the most relevant, however it is rather atypical in the sense that she deprived herself of 2 singles released beforehand (not to mention the others) that she did not add on the album while they are really good singles (after it is an opinion), so I do not know if we can say that it is not a counter example rather evocative finally
I agree that Porter Robinson wasn't necessarily looking for money, it's rather that the streaming system today favors the fact that it's easier to offer unpublished music to the fans and that's clearly what they prefer because they can consume new content!
It's a nice comparison you made about Yeezus and WLR, it's not wrong
@TomBejoy
Apr 24, 2021
@DoubleZ it looks like van weezer is shaping out to be the same. Too many singles. I hope this trend doesnt intensify quick like the deluxe trend, but then again the single spam has been around for ages.
Apr 24, 2021
Of course it's possible, this technique makes things up and you are right to have underlined it, but honestly I don't think Van Weezer will be a good album, I think it will support the counter blow of Ok Human.
And I think, after all this is my opinion, that this phenomenon of multiple singles is relatively recent and accentuated by streaming, in the 60's, either the singles were off album or it was based on 1 or 2 singles maximum to promote an album, but the album remained rather secondary, so sure everything evolved with MTV etc.. in the 80's, but even in the 2000's I remember that the album had become almost a priority in front of the single so much so that he used the singles to make the album live from 1 to 3 years after its release, in general it was 1 single, the 2nd one for the release and the 3rd one according to the choices of the listeners, so today I don't know if the interest of releasing albums is really the objective of the artist, at least commercially.. @TomBejoy
Apr 24, 2021
.. speaking, in the sense that he could simply release 3/4 singles before that and then release the album to support the singles and increase the number of streaming, it's a bit of a step backwards finally but in the air of time @TomBejoy
Apr 24, 2021
I wanna read this conversation is the comments but it’s too long can I have the tldr @tombejoy or @doublez
Apr 24, 2021
In the beginning we exchanged our analyses and similarities, specifically that "flaws and simplicity" are strengths of the album,
showing the very human side of Nurture. And then we debate on the following question: "Is it interesting to have so many singles released (and included) in an album, thus limiting the unreleased ones?  " @Riskr
Apr 24, 2021
@Doublez I loved Ok Human, it was a very candid and adorable album to me. But Van Weezer's glam metal and Van Halen influences may not work out too well, also the singles are rather average. I find it interesting albums came out heres after singles, thats new to me. I honestly can't tell if labels have a play in this as well. I feel like due to single culture and the arrival of streaming people put more emphasis on playlists then albums in the mainstream. Many of my friends in real life haven't heard a full album front to back yet when I have heard like 500 and people on here have heard thousands. Back in the day it was physical sales that were dominant and those were usually full on discs. Now it's a different bag, and while streaming has its advantages, the singles find their way to a playlist, peopl elisten to them once or twice, and forget about an impending album release.
Apr 24, 2021
not heres i meant years sorry
Apr 24, 2021
After quite a few relistens I'm happy to report that this project really grew on me and hence I might write a review for it tommorow. It's a 90 for me at the moment, which is a pleasant score as far as my scale goes. I listened to it with a friend and I liked it even more, which was great to be honest as I really wanted to love this album from the start.
Apr 24, 2021
I def think their were too many singles, but originally only the first 4 were meant to be released. Covid messed it up
Apr 24, 2021
I agree with you, I listened to it again not long ago, it's really good! After all, it's only a hunch for Van Weezer, but in reality this band has always shown us that it was capable of the best as well as the worst, so we'll have to see, for the moment I confess that I'm very low on information with the singles released.
I think you have summed up the situation perfectly regarding the singles etc... there has always been a cult of the single, but the album has always remained something for the specialists or for the fans who want more. Many albums today are very popular and have the form of a sophisticated playlist, especially in Hip Hop and with the public/artists losing interest in the album format, it is obvious that this amplifies the release of singles over and over again. It's a parameter that necessarily counts.
It's a good sign that after several listenings that Nurture has convinced you! @TomBejoy
Apr 24, 2021
This is an important point that you highlight, indeed covid has its share of responsibility. I think most of us agree that there are too many singles, even 4, but unfortunately we'll have to get used to it.. @Riskr
Apr 24, 2021
@Riskr exactly, but 6 singles was a bad idea in my opinion. Especially the final one given it was one of the highlights amongst the new material added on to the record which I guess both of you could agree on. That was honestly the saturation point even though half the world already got the album at that point. I feel like even timed spotify releases aren't really that useful as it's resulting in people listening to the album unofficially and cutting into the stream money. How many of us used one link to listen to the album? It may not be much but several full listens were lost to it
Apr 25, 2021
I personally never listen to leaks, but honestly I don't think the proportion of what they do is really important compared to the rate of what they officially listen to, at least for an artist like Porter Robinson, let alone if we were talking about Kanye or Beyoncé. Already Spotify very often groups singles as a kind of EP that you can end up knowing by heart before the album is even released, but on top of that artists have more opportunity with singles releases to appear in the playlists and go viral. Basically I think that we should personally refrain from listening to all the singles that are released in order to keep the interest to discover the album
@TomBejoy @Riskr
Apr 25, 2021
Thats a very interesting take, of abandoning singles alltogether. it may not be the same case for all as people have been waiting years for atleast a little bit or piece from their favorite artist. But I feel like leaks, not just same-day pre release leaks have ruined a lot of releases. The worst case in my knowledge was the Jai Paul case, as he never made a proper release again until a few ventures as of late
Apr 25, 2021
Yes it doesn't prevent to listen to 1 or 2 singles Max, but after it is our system of consumption which is bad, if the listening of an album exceeds 1 week it is already almost a miracle, it is not the good method according to me because sometimes we stop at our first resentment without never giving again chance. The impatience to listen to a leak is quite regrettable because in the end it doesn't benefit anyone, neither the artist who deserves to be rewarded with at least one official listening and for the listener who is deprived of a content with the correct mix. Especially since it doesn't prevent you from listening to the album in the seconds or minutes of its official release and enjoy discovering the final work. After all it's my vision of things, everyone is free to do what he wants if for them it's a pleasure
@TomBejoy
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