Well, the end of the year has reared its head once again, and that leaves us here at Mildly Pleased staring down the barell of end-of-year list season. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been posting top tens of the year lists for 10 years now. But if there’s one thing that we’ve seen change in the past ten years, it’s how other sites have gradually pushed their top ten lists further and further up the calendar. Now, I can’t say I’ve seen any major lists pop up yet, but I feel like they could come flooding in at any moment, but for now, we’ll get started with our shortened reviews of stuff we forgot to review earlier in the year that may have a chance of cropping up on a list or two.
This first 2018 album I’m talking about is appropriate, mainly because it’s one I enjoyed this year, but don’t feel particularly equipped to talk about why. For one, Christine and the Queens feels a little bit outside of my music-listening sweet spot, but not that far. I wouldn’t say I listen to a ton of dance-ier pop music, but it’s not like I go out of my way to avoid it either. And quite frankly, the songs here are so catchy that whether you’re listening to the English or French language versions, you’ll most likely be bobbing your head and singing along after just a few listens to Chris.
I also feel less equipped to talk about the gender fluidity at the heart of Chris. Instead of her Christine and the Queens moniker, singer Héloïse Letissier chopped her hair off and embraced this Chris persona prior to the recording of the album, feeling that it suited a more masculine persona that she was interested in. I can’t really say if that’s reflected in the music, since I still haven’t heard the first Christine and the Queens album, but I will say this is very confident music. Still, it’s the kind of confidence that isn’t afraid to shed its bravado and reveal a kind of irresistible beauty (as exemplified by my favorite track “5 dollars”), and thus revealing that your identity can be defined by whatever the hell you choose to do with it.