2. Christine and The Queens, “Chris”
On Christine and the Queens’ opener “iT”, Héloïse Letissier brashly suggested, “I’m a man now”; on album number two, she pushes that notion even further, creating a male persona she inhabits both visually and conceptually. But she remains more aspiring popstar god than art project, especially on the first half’s brilliant run of four singles (“Girlfriend”, “The Walker”, “Doesn’t Matter”, “5 Dollars”) which all build upon the ingenuity and hooks of past gems like “Tilted” and “Saint Claude”. The second half has plenty of hooks as well, but the slower songs, such as the devastating “What’s-Her-Name” or the tender “Make Some Sense” cut deepest. And, for all those hooks, on everything Letissier writes and sings, you always sense something timely, crucial and trailblazing is at stake.