MusicThe Appraisal

Nurture Album Review – The Appraisal

Album: Nurture (Porter Robinson)

Release Date: April 23, 2021

Hosts: Spencer Kweskin and Bond Photos

Who is Porter Robinson?

Porter Robinson is a self-taught EDM musician from North Carolina. He rocketed to the top of Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums with his debut Worlds. Robinson’s latest album, Nurture, has been met with critical acclaim and made several 2021 year end lists. He is the 2015 MTVU Woodie Award Winner for Artist of the Year, was nominated for the Electronic Music Awards Single of the Year and Live Act of the Year in 2017 for Shelter, and was nominated for a Grammy in 2019 for Ghost Voices.

What is your favorite song on the album?

Spencer: “Wind Tempos” is my personal favorite track on the album. The first three minutes are consumed with a single-note piano drowned out by both nature itself and orchestral tones representing nature. The droning sound of the note introduces one of the themes of the album: the struggle to write songs. This is reinforced by the Windows error sound heard a quarter of the way through the track. Mid-way through, the track snaps into a solo piano melody, creating a dream-like atmosphere. This is followed by a glitchy, almost uninterpretable vocal sample. There are discrepancies regarding what these lyrics are actually saying, but the lyrics displayed in live showings are “it’s so holy, it’s so lonely, oh I’ll dream of you.” This track is an experimental love letter to music itself and the creative process associated with making it.

Bond: “Unfold” is the only collaboration on Nurture, featuring Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (TEED). The sixth single is the closest Nurture comes to the wall-of-sound present throughout Robinson’s previous album, Worlds, with rich synth and deep bass present throughout the track. The lyrics suggest “Unfold” is a conversation between Robinson and his fans. For Robinson, Worlds was overwhelming, and trying to top that album with what could become Nurture was even more so. This is the clearest chorus: “And I watched the water unfold. It’s a feeling I want you to know, ‘cause I’m not the same as I was as I shoulder the weight of the world.” Perhaps “…the weight of the world” is in fact the weight of Worlds, the album.

What is the most important song on the album?

“dullscythe”; This extremely experimental track represents a critical midpoint in the album and the culmination of the negative themes present throughout the record. The position, style, tone, and themes of the song make “dullscythe” the most important track. It divides the record between the depressive “inner-voice” on all tracks prior to this and the optimistic “outer-voice” on all tracks following this.

What is the overall theme of the album, in your eyes? Why is it worth talking about?Nurture represents the emotional vulnerability and struggle Robinson had after the success of his previous album, Worlds. It marks a shift in Robinson’s music away from the 2010s style of dreamy electro-pop. We, along with many reviewers, believe that Nurture is the Discovery (Daft Punk) of this generation. Discovery marked a dramatic shift in Daft Punk’s style and the EDM landscape followed suit. Whereas Worlds still sounds like 2014, it’s overly idyllic and fantastical. We believe Nurture has a more timeless sound that is honest and unique.

Album Tracklist:

  1. Lifelike
  2. Look at the Sky
  3. Get Your Wish
  4. Wind Tempos
  5. Musician
  6. do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do
  7. Mother
  8. dullscythe
  9. Sweet Time
  10. Mirror
  11. Something Comforting
  12. Blossom
  13. Unfold
  14. Trying to Feel Alive

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