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Album review: Christine and The Queens - Chris

Christine and The Queens - Chris (Because Music).
Christine and The Queens - Chris (Because Music).

Having established herself as the world’s brightest and most vital pop newcomer with 2014’s Chaleur Humaine, the return of Parisian Heloise Letissier ranks among 2018’s biggest musical events.

Spearheaded by one of the songs of the summer in Girlfriend, this second album sees the 30-year-old ditch her previous alter-ego for that of Chris – a more colourful and outgoing character whose insatiable confidence and drive are reflected throughout its 11 tracks.

With its amped-up blockbuster production, the record certainly sounds immaculate, bearing a sonic palette whose influences range from ‘70s flavoured disco to bass-heavy contemporary dance music.

Indeed, whereas Chaleur Humaine’s hits were balanced by mid-tempo introspection, Chris’s eye is set firmly on the dancefloor – not least on Doesn’t Matter, a brazen, club-ready banger which rounds off a truly stonking opening gambit.

Considering she places such an emphasis on performance and live choreography, one of Chris’s greatest triumphs is how vividly it paints Letissier’s latest creation.

Much of this owes to the record’s lyrical content and exploration of themes such as gender, sexuality and mental health, yet there’s also no shortage of musical variety.

The likes of The Walker and Goya Soda, for instance, trade thudding beats for more intimate and reserved ruminations; an emphasis on beauty over bombast which proves no less alluring.

It’s not perfect, but it’s by far and away the finest mainstream pop album of the year thus far, and moreover one which could complete Letissier’s path to bona fide international stardom. Unmissable. 8/10

ALI WELFORD