23 Songs, 1 Hour 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“I wanted to write an album that could give justice to being someone complex in the pop world,” the surging French star sometimes known as Héloïse Letissier tells Apple Music. “Pop music is so much recently about trying to simplify narratives, and I was trying to complexify mine. Christine is really me taking your shirt and talking to you really up close. I just want to make sure you actually meet me.”

If you have not yet made her acquaintance, you are about to: Her second album under the name Christine and the Queens takes her alter ego a step further with a bolder, more androgynous iteration named Chris. “The first album was born out of the frustration of being an aberration in society, because I was a young queer woman,” she says. “The second was really born out of the aberration I was becoming, which was a powerful woman—being lustful and horny and sometimes angry, and craving for this will to just own everything a bit more and apologize a bit less.”

While the new album—also named Chris—undoubtedly works as an exploration of identity and sexuality and power—and as self-aware performance art worthy of touchstones like David Bowie and Laurie Anderson—it is also a supremely danceable collection of synth-pop confections that never gets overwhelmed by its messages. “Doesn’t matter” makes something as heavy as questioning the existence of God feel weightless; “Girlfriend,” featuring LA producer/DJ Dâm-Funk, likewise aims for both the hips and the head. “I don’t feel like a girlfriend, but I’ll be your lover,” she says. “The song is basically me trying to steal a bit from the patriarchy. It’s purely empowering out of defiance and wittiness.”

That flair for the dramatic comes naturally to Letissier. “I wanted to be a stage director before I became a pop performer, and writing a record is kind of like staging a huge play in my head,” she says. “This is a mysterious job I have.”

Parental Advisory Explicit Content

EDITORS’ NOTES

“I wanted to write an album that could give justice to being someone complex in the pop world,” the surging French star sometimes known as Héloïse Letissier tells Apple Music. “Pop music is so much recently about trying to simplify narratives, and I was trying to complexify mine. Christine is really me taking your shirt and talking to you really up close. I just want to make sure you actually meet me.”

If you have not yet made her acquaintance, you are about to: Her second album under the name Christine and the Queens takes her alter ego a step further with a bolder, more androgynous iteration named Chris. “The first album was born out of the frustration of being an aberration in society, because I was a young queer woman,” she says. “The second was really born out of the aberration I was becoming, which was a powerful woman—being lustful and horny and sometimes angry, and craving for this will to just own everything a bit more and apologize a bit less.”

While the new album—also named Chris—undoubtedly works as an exploration of identity and sexuality and power—and as self-aware performance art worthy of touchstones like David Bowie and Laurie Anderson—it is also a supremely danceable collection of synth-pop confections that never gets overwhelmed by its messages. “Doesn’t matter” makes something as heavy as questioning the existence of God feel weightless; “Girlfriend,” featuring LA producer/DJ Dâm-Funk, likewise aims for both the hips and the head. “I don’t feel like a girlfriend, but I’ll be your lover,” she says. “The song is basically me trying to steal a bit from the patriarchy. It’s purely empowering out of defiance and wittiness.”

That flair for the dramatic comes naturally to Letissier. “I wanted to be a stage director before I became a pop performer, and writing a record is kind of like staging a huge play in my head,” she says. “This is a mysterious job I have.”

Parental Advisory Explicit Content
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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
6 Ratings
6 Ratings
dee jay bears

Infectious pop that doesn't make you feel guilty..

Since Christine & the Queens came on the scene, it was blatantly obvious that Christine was oozing with talent. From the infectious hooks, songwriting, production and artistic influence, this truly is pop music at its best. It's pop music that doesn't sell out, just to appease and absorb the masses. This album in particular demonstrates this as almost every track could be released as a single. I absolutely love that Christine writes and sings in her native tongue, and like with Sigur Ros, because the music is so good, the language simply doesn't matter. I do wish that she had just released the album in french as I find that the english versions of each track was completely unnecessary and probably designed to reach a broader audience. Regardless, this is an album that represents the very best in pop music, even if you thing that pop is bad word.

About Christine and the Queens

France's Christine and the Queens is the electronic pop solo project of singer, songwriter, and dancer Héloïse Létissier. Born in Nantes, France in 1988, Létissier studied theater at École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (ENS Lyon) before embarking on a music career. Inspired by the drag queens who danced with her while she performed, Héloïse eventually adopted the Christine and the Queens moniker. Influenced by the theatrical pop of David Bowie and Laurie Anderson, as well as the dance choreography of Michael Jackson, Létissier often combines her poignant, atmospheric music with computer-based multimedia presentations that blur the lines between theater, singing, and dance. She released her debut independent EP, Miséricorde, in 2011, followed by Mac Abbey and Nuit 17 à 52 in 2012 and 2013, respectively. In 2014, Létissier delivered Christine and the Queens' debut full-length album, Chaleur Humaine, featuring the single "Saint Claude." Early in 2015, Létissier won the Victoires de la Musique for 2014's Best Female Artist; later that year, Chaleur Humaine was reissued on Atlantic in the United States as Christine and the Queens, featuring the English-language single "Tilted." The album was also reissued as a deluxe edition in the U.K. in 2016, a year that also saw Christine and the Queens cover Beyoncé's "Sorry" and the BBC choose Létissier as one of its 100 Women of the Year. ~ Matt Collar

HOMETOWN
Nantes, France
BORN
1988

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