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Best albums of 2016: No 8 Chaleur Humaine by Christine and the Queens | Musique Non Stop

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

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

One of the year’s more heartening success stories was that of the Frenchwoman who, depressed, lonely and insecure, fell under the wing of a group of Soho drag queens in London. The performers saw in Héloïse Letissier a kindred spirit and nurtured her, sending her back to Paris to become Christine and the Queens, a character who expressed Letissier’s fears and confronted them, and who became the most unlikely crossover success in a long time.

Chaleur Humaine (meaning Human Warmth) was released in June 2014 in France, but didn’t creep out in the rest of the world until early 2016, a few tracks replaced by new ones, a few with lyrics reworked in English. The translations were not literal; in fact, you’d struggle to call them translations at all. The song Tilted, which had been called Christine on the original release, opened “I will die before Methuselah / So I’ll fight sleep with ammonia,” whereas the French version had been something along the lines of: “I start books at the end / And I hold my head high for nothing.”

Related: Christine and the Queens: 'I just want to shatter everything'

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by Michael Hann via Electronic music | The Guardian