Christine & The Queens – Chris
As soon as the lead single ‘Girlfriend’ dropped, any fears that this would be a “difficult second album” for French pop star Heloise Letissier (aka Christine and the Queens) went out the window. Very quickly. With smoother, sleeker production, Chris sees her level graduate to full-on pop star, without losing any of the personality that drew people to her the first time around.
A highlight on the album for me is ‘The Walker’, a vulnerable account of her experiences of going out at night from the perspective of someone with deep anxieties about who they are. These poignant lyrics are set to a really beautiful, almost haunting melody. ‘Doesn’t Matter’ is another brilliant, infectious track with crisp, Princeesque production. Its punchy drum machine beat fits Letissier’s voice perfectly, its sharpness complimenting it in a beautiful way.
The whole thing manages to be varied while maintaining a consistent sound and feel throughout. Upbeat, synth-driven tracks such as ‘Damn (What Must a Woman Do)’ really contrast cuts like the dramatic ballad of ‘What’s-Her-Face’, but still Chris stays consistently on top form, with each track effortlessly flowing into each other.
This record sees the artist building on themes and ideas such as sexuality and religion she hinted at on her debut, and blowing them wide open fearlessly, making for an inspired and revealing listen.
9/10 Will Walsh
Order the album here.