I sometimes wonder what would happen if reviewers didn’t receive press kits. It’s a question that re-emerges as I read about Loraine James and encounter phrases like “genre-bending IDM” and “paint portraits of Blackness, queerness and loneliness.”
I don’t know what genre-bending IDM sounds like. What I hear in Reflection is a thoughtful and emotional record that builds on the history of electronic dance music and pushes it in exciting directions.
That Paste link above opens with “anxiety-inducing.” I don’t hear portraits of Blackness, queerness, and loneliness like they did, but I definitely hear anxiety, along with hope, strength, joy, and sadness. Maybe that’s what the intersection of Black, queer, and lonely sounds like. I know it’s what the day-to-day fight of being alive sounds like for a lot of us. I can’t make out many lyrics, but both isolation and triumph exist in lines like “I was always a little off but I get up and get on.”
It seems as if critics approach James through a lens of race and gender. To me, Reflection simply sounds like the journey of being alive for those of us who were always a little off. I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever felt that way.
Released: June 4, 2021