13 Aug Brightside Review: Porter Robinson’s ‘Worlds’ Album
For myself, and many electronic music fans alike, Porter Robinson has been a standout since his first smash track: Say My Name. One of the youngest producers with the most massive followings, Porter quickly showed the world his mastery of electro-house. But, as many talented producers do, he grew weary of the hard-hitting sound. Following the massive success of his Spitfire EP, the then 19-year-old would take a 3 year hiatus from production to tour, and eventually introduce the concept for Worlds.
Since the announcement of Worlds (an 10-hour long loop of the same clip you can watch here), everyone could tell that this album would be a step in another direction for Porter. Not only had his online persona via Twitter and Facebook grown more mature, but there was a tangible shift in his feelings toward the electronic music scene.
— 【＝◈︿◈＝】ｐｏｒｔｅｒ (@porterrobinson) August 12, 2014
Porter had released four tracks off of the album before the release: Sea of Voices, Sad Machine, Lion Hearted and Flicker. The first, Sea of Voices, was a clear sign of the delicate and emotional feel of the album to come. Despite the beauty and thoughtfulness of the first single, this had myself and many others somewhat nervous that he would take the 180 degree flip away from dance music. These nerves would be calmed by Sad Machine, the first track introducing Porter’s thematic sampling of oddly beautiful, robotic female vocals. The track truly is expertly crafted, not only in the quality of the sound, but in the emotion it draws from the listener. Porter is quoted to be inspired by Japanese culture, specifically it’s tendency to evoke images of adventure and wonder — precisely what is evoked by Worlds.
To me, Flicker seemed to be very similar to Sad Machine — perhaps meant to be complimentary tracks. Lionhearted, featuring awesome vocals from Urban Cone, is definitively the “radio play” track from the album. From Polygon Dust and Fresh Static Snow, I got an almost groovy vibe. One thing, however, stays true throughout the entire album, which is the airy vocals laid over the tracks. In this lies probably my only critique of the album, as after a few listens through I was having trouble discerning a couple of tracks from one another. Don’t crucify me for pointing this out, because I really do think that every track is a masterpiece in terms of production. Porter does hit one darker note with Fellow Feeling, which includes a verse of some really intense techno sound that noticeably differs from the rest of the album. All in all, this is one of the best electronic albums I’ve heard in the past year — rivaled only, in my opinion, by Random Access Memories and Glow.