Christine and the Queens: Chris review – pop music that truly matters

A swaggering masculine alter-ego delivers Letissier’s punchy statement of intent, wrapping themes from gender fluidity to female agency in heady electronic pop

At the close of 2016, it was announced that Christine and the QueensChaleur Humaine was the UK’s biggest-selling debut album of the year. It’s worth remembering how unlikely that seemed. We live in an era in which the gatekeepers of mainstream success seem bound to ensure that anything too smart, interesting or strange gets shunted to the margins. It’s there, in the hinterlands – where you have to make do with rapturous column inches in lieu of actual sales – that you might reasonably have expected to find a pansexual French androgyne such as Héloïse Letissier using fine-boned electronic pop to explore her self-confessed “obsession with having a dick and being a man”.

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