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Album Review: Christine and the Queens – PARANOÏA, ANGELS, TRUE LOVE

2 min read
Our verdict on PARANOÏA, ANGELS, TRUE LOVE, the new record by the Christine and the Queens...

Christine and the Queens emerged onto the scene in the early 2010’s, their debut self-titled album launching the project to international stardom off the back of single Tilted. After sophomore release Chris, the project began moving in a more experimental direction, and his latest record is no exception.

The sprawling album begins with the theatrical Overture, an introduction complete with spoken word passages, distorted guitar riffs, and sweeping synths. This leads cleanly into Tears can be so soft, bass and drums building slowly while Chris sings about missing family and friends. Mavin descending builds off that track’s vibe, Chris’s vocals drenched in delay, reverberating around the gorgeously played piano. Towards the end of this song, gritty drums and electric guitars enter the mix, calling back to the overture and given the otherwise sparse track a much needed lift. Full of life is notable for beginning like a classic orchestral piece, embracing the strings before more contemporary instruments come in. It hits a perfect balance, neither side of the musical landscape clashing with the other.

Angels crying in my bed is the first of three tracks to feature Madonna, the others being I met an angel, and Lick the lights out. All three have Madonna on spoken word duty, the latter of which leads the track into a huge fizzy ending. 070 Shake is another artist to feature more than once, the first being low-key, synth-lead ballad True love. The latter Let me touch you once takes on an early Bjork sound with an off-kilter beat and Chris exploring all areas of his vocal range. The final track Big eye is a mammoth seven-minute synthetic drone song, leading the listener to the end of the odyssey with feedback and ominous keys.

PARANOÏA, ANGELS, TRUE LOVE is an extraordinary record. Gone are the formulaic pop structures and snappy runtime, and in their place is a broody, electronic – and somewhat psychedelic – alternative album. Sure, it’s on the heavy side, but there’s still plenty for fans and newcomers alike to enjoy.