It is immediately apparent to listeners as soon as the record starts that the 57:54 journey through Porter Robinson’s WORLDS is unlike anything out right now. The debut album from the NC native, which feels like M83 and MGMT fell in love with Dragonball Z and EDC, is one of the most complete and refreshing electronic music projects to come out this year as public opinion continues to sour regarding “EDM”. Having already proven his prowess as a dance music producer capable of crafting some of the most detailed, complex and beautiful tracks to grace festival stages since dance music’s explosion, the thoughtful lyrics and immersive songwriting present on WORLDS are a refreshing break of attention from finding the “BIGGESET DROP or harping over the merits of a producer’s sound design. Instead, Porter Robinson launches listeners into WORLDS of their own.
Porter Robinson Conquers WORLDS [Album Review]
From top to bottom, the rollout for WORLDS was nothing if not precise. Making it clear that this upcoming project was not an album of dance music starting with Sea of Voices as the first single, the vocaloid ballad Sad Machine hit the net next followed by collaboration with Urban Cone in Lionhearted. The tracks received the imminent onslaught of remixes with highlights coming from Giraffage, RAC, Anamanaguchi, Arty as well as Maxx & EJ.
The lack of waveforms in the NPR player forces the listener to actually listen to the song, rather than skipping to biggest portion of each waveform as SoundCloud listeners (myself included) are guilty of doing from time to time. With a project that is as thought out as WORLDS, it makes a huge difference that you actually take an hour to sit down and listen through the project in order; each song has a purpose in the context & order of the album, which can certainly explain why it was streamed on NPR as one single 57:54 track. WORLDS is more of an album with an overall aesthetic and narrative with a noticable focus on songwriting and production quality than a dance mix compilation that some electronic albums happen to turn into. It is certainly safe to say that with all of the thought that has gone into WORLDS, the live show is going to be an experience unlike anything we’ve seen (or heard) before.
Porter makes the kind of music that inspires you to push yourself and and celebrate all of the beautifully quirky things that make up who you are. The self-awareness shown by removing himself from the environment which he felt was limiting him in order to craft a lane distinctly his own is something that everyone should take note of and apply to their own lives whether it pertains to music or not. The album is vulnerable where it needs to be, defiant in others, loud and vast all over and everything that I would’ve hoped it would be.
MY TRACK BY TRACK NOTES:
Edit: i didn’t bother cleaning this up because i personally thought it conveyed the train of thought i was going through listening to each song. also try and turn “flaming lips kinda ish” into proper english…so here it is
Written by: @randymcrandell