Héloïse Letissier takes on another persona for Christine and the Queens’ second album, Chris. Addressing gender and identity with a resurged 80’s groove, this album is a clear sign of the times.
From the go, ‘Comme Si’ addresses the current hot topic over gender, sexuality and identity with lyrics such as, “there’s a pride in my singing, the thickness of a new skin, I am done with belonging”. She is done with conforming and is finally being herself; this track has a strong Prince-esque vibe to it, with 80’s beats and soft yet strong vocals that are soon to be interjected by a twinkly synth for the chorus. It is the perfect modern twist on classic 80’s pop.
The standout single follows suit, ‘Girlfriend’ dancing from English to French with lyrics, this track is mellow yet holds a continuous funk throughout that ignites a fire within when listening. ‘Doesn’t Matter’ tackles the debate of God’s existence, a somewhat heavy and trivial topic made to be seen weightless and non-essential in life, “it doesn’t matter does it, if I know any exit, if I believe in god and if god does exist”.
‘Damn (what must a woman do)’ is a compelling number on Chris, with a catchy melody and further themes surrounding gender, “I’m the butch babe in LA // damn what must a woman do, do I have to pay?”. These lyrics kick up more discussions around gender and stereotypes cushioned by the perfect pop atmosphere making it one of the most intelligently formed albums of this year.
‘What’s-her-face’ is built on haunting piano tones, eerie atmospheric synths and sentimental vocals, making this track on the album much more reflective, showing a vulnerable side to Chris.
Chris divulges into the differentiating factors and perceptions that create a persons’ identity; including lustful, horny and angry feelings of a powerful woman. Chris truly follows on from the likes of Prince, Michael Jackson and David Bowie who were endlessly challenging gender stereotypes to be seen different in the art world.