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Christine and the Queens: Redcar les Adorables Étoiles review – clouds of sorrow from the artist’s new persona

(Because Music)
Breakup songs and wistful melodies pepper this uneven new release from Héloïse Letissier, who wrote and recorded it over just two weeks In 2016, Christine and the Queens appeared on British TV for the first time. It was, by common consent, one of the great music television debuts: an exquisitely choreographed, effortlessly executed performance of breakthrough hit Tilted that unexpectedly surged into a cover of I Feel for You, in tribute to its recently deceased author, Prince. Even when the artist reemerged as Chris on 2018’s album of the same name, the vision remained immaculate. It all seemed incredibly cool and expertly done, the work of a hugely talented artist in complete control. It makes for a striking and slightly troubling contrast with the arrival of Christine and the Queens’ third album, Redcar les Adorables Étoiles. It seems to have been beset by disagreements between artist and record label, which have spilled on to social media. A certain confusion surrounds the whole enterprise, which involves the introduction of a new persona, Redcar. Redcar is a masculine figure – the artist at the centre of Christine and the Queens, Héloïse Letissier, recently came out as a trans man – named after the red vehicles that began to take on significance for him in the wake of his mother’s sudden death in 2019. And there, all attempts at explication flounder. Like blockbuster movies, the most successful pop personae can be summarised with a neat one-line pitch. Ziggy Stardust: gay alien pop star. The Fly: the diametric opposite of earnest old Bono. Sasha Fierce: like Beyoncé, only sexier and more aggressive. Continue reading...

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