Christine and the Queens: Chaleur Humaine review – stylish and empathetic

(Because Music)

This accomplished synth-pop record by Parisian Héloïse Letissier has been released in various guises, not least its Francophone debut of 2014. Revamped for the US last autumn, now out here, it is both old news and a welcome opportunity to praise Letissier’s stylish, empathetic songs: bilingual, sexually fluid, influenced by R&B, hip-hop and glitchy digitals. Tunes such as Saint Claude (now in English) flirt with surface while seeking (and delivering) chaleur humaine (aka the “human warmth” of the LP’s title). Perfume Genius now guests on the cloistered Jonathan, where a love affair can’t be acknowledged in daylight, and the minimal No Harm Is Done finds Pennsylvanian rapper Tunji Ige providing thoughtful counterpoint.

Contributor

Kitty Empire

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Best albums of 2016: No 8 Chaleur Humaine by Christine and the Queens
In the year of Bowie’s death, Héloïse Letissier’s triumphant crossover record was a salutary reminder that pop can be inspirational and comforting

Michael Hann

07, Dec, 2016 @8:00 AM

Article image
Christine and the Queens live review – ‘immensely French’
Héloïse Letissier’s strikingly original dance-art-pop adds up to a terrific Gallic-tinged treat

Kitty Empire

19, Mar, 2016 @6:00 PM

Article image
Christine and the Queens: Chris review – the triumph of a slick character
In her new guise as the lustful Chris, Héloïse Letissier harnesses 80s funk to grapple with gender and identity on her ambitious second album

Kitty Empire

23, Sep, 2018 @7:00 AM

Article image
Christine and the Queens: Chaleur Humaine review – a perfect antidote to pop conservatism
France has made this brilliant, provocative artist one of its biggest mainstream stars. Could Britain ever do the same?

Alexis Petridis

03, Mar, 2016 @3:00 PM

Article image
Christine and the Queens review – born-again Chris in a class of her own
French auteur Héloïse Letissier revels in joyous reinvention as she morphs from gamine femininity to shrugging muscularity in this superlative live show

Kitty Empire

24, Nov, 2018 @4:00 PM

Article image
Christine and the Queens review – a brilliant, fevered musical force of nature
The French superstar’s hip-hop chamber pop is energising and she goes all out to impress with a potent mix of sincerity and absolute authenticity – this is pop at its transformative best

Betty Clarke

16, Mar, 2016 @1:59 PM

Article image
50 great tracks for March by Christine and the Queens, Yves Tumor, Fizzler and more
Subscribe to our playlists in Spotify and Apple Music, and read about 10 of our favourite tracks below

Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes

02, Mar, 2020 @11:26 AM

Article image
'Magic happens, often': Christine and the Queens, Haim, Nile Rodgers and more on the joy of live music
Musicians on the thrill of playing live – and what we can expect when gigs return

The Observer

07, Mar, 2021 @6:44 AM

Article image
50 great tracks for June from Christine and the Queens, Playboi Carti, the 1975 and more
From Troye Sivan’s ode to bottoming to Oneohtrix Point Never’s joyous electronic cheese, here are 50 tracks you shouldn’t be without this month

Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes

06, Jun, 2018 @9:00 AM

Article image
Christine and the Queens: 'I just want to shatter everything'
Having stormed the charts and ruled the festival season, Héloïse Letissier talks pop, pansexuality - and the power of an alter ego

Laura Snapes

04, Sep, 2016 @8:30 AM