After minting herself as pop royalty in her native France and earning praise from Madonna and Mark Ronson with 2014 debut LP Chaleur Humaine, Christine & The Queens (alter ego of singer-songwriter Heloise Letissier) spent the bulk of 2015 courting U.S. listeners. Thankfully, for her self-titled crossover attempt, Letissier didn’t shed her “freak pop” Franco-roots, or her Sasha Fierce-like artistic alter-ego, initially inspired by real-life drag-queen pals. In fact, most of the album is actually an Americanized reimagining of her debut, with the bulk of the tracks simply resurrected with English vocal parts over revamped beats by longtime producer Ash Workman (“iT,” “Tilted”). But there are fantastic new additions: Unexpected collaborations with stateside cool kids like Perfume Genius on the aching “Jonathan” and talented Philly rapper Tunji Ige on the plush “No Harm Is Done” should charm any skeptics who might worry Letissier got lost in translation.
Listen to Christine & The Queens and other artists from this week's issue of Billboard.