Review: Chris by Christine and the Queens

Chris by Christine and the QueensChris is hard to categorize. Well, sound-wise, it is: the latest effort from Christine and the Queens borrows and the synth-powered pop-funk so prevalent in the 80s, proving again that what was once old is new again. There’s also the finesse that you’d expect from the artist otherwise known as Héloïse Letissier, that mystical quality you get from French artists, whether they’re crossing over or not. And she definitely has, with her debut Chaleur humaine becoming a surprise worldwide success. That process has led her to a new character, and here’s where Chris becomes interesting. On the surface Chris is buff and sexually ambiguous; go deeper and you hear someone who’s bent to break down gender stereotypes by somehow building them up. It’s forward and yet it conforms. It says a lot about the stereotypes I never acknowledged harboring, not in these times where what you believe is everything. And the songs are so good – bold, forward, irresistible and yet easy on the ears. In its ambiguous certainty Chris becomes one of the most daring – and satisfying – pop record of the year. How the hell did she get here? Must be that mystical quality, and then some. [NB]4/5

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