Whole Life Magazine

October / November 2018

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/1047374

Contents of this Issue


Page 22 of 31

art & soul MUSIC C hristine and the Queens made quite an impression when the French artist burst onto the pop scene in 2014. Critics loved Héloïse Letissier's effortless synth-pop; her 2015 single "Tilted" was a seductive pleasure and a minor hit that got her booked at Coachella (check out the wonderfully choreographed music video on YouTube). Thankfully, Letissier's much-anticipated follow-up doesn't suffer from the sophomore slump. Interestingly titled Chris — Letissier identifi es as pansexual, which means she's attracted to people regardless of sex or gender — the half-French/half- English collection is a thoughtful, catchy listen. Chris doesn't take long to start having fun — "Comme Si" ("As If") is a sexy come-on and its follow-up, "Girlfriend," is a playful take on '80s Top 40. Then "The Walker" slows things down, with an intriguing exploration of discrimination and violence set to a drum machine. Then we're back with "Doesn't Matter"— a poem about suicidal thoughts and doubting God that masquerades as a pop song. Like many of Letissier's songs, the sound and lyrics contrast, which makes for a delicious mix, especially when her voice soars on "Doesn't Matter." While the meanings of some of Chris' songs are far from transparent, they're all a sonic wonder and many drip with an intoxicating sexuality ("Goya Soda" and "Damn [what must a woman do]" are highlights). Letissier herself must be commended for the production, which she did mostly herself. Throughout its 23 song length (11 songs in English, 12 in French), Chris is entirely Letissier; there's simply no other pop artist making music as singular. Magnifi que! (Because Music) —Neal Broverman W hen I heard that Deva Premal's latest album would be entitled Deva, I felt a bit of trepidation — fi rstly whether this would be a retrospective collection, and secondly if the acclaimed singer was releasing a solo project without longtime accompanists, her life and music partner Miten, and the marvelous bansuri fl autist Manose. Both have been at her side, in studio and onstage, throughout her meteoric career and their ensemble sound is unique beyond measure. Happily, Deva's latest offering is a beautifully paced new recording and another great collaboration with Miten, Manose, and the gifted producer/multi-instrumentalist Joby Baker. But it's also indeed an auspicious celebration of this beloved singer, whose work now spans two decades since her fi rst recording of the Gayatri Mantra (on her 1998 debut album, The Essence) electrifi ed fans of devotional music around the planet. Gayatri became a staple in yoga studios, book shops, and on playlists everywhere, remaining a massive favorite to this day with legions of loyal fans worldwide. With an elegant nod to her debut 20 years ago, Deva revisits her classic, opening with a fresh new recording of the long form of the Gayatri Mantra titled "The Seven Chakra Gayatri Mantra." This time it's enshrined with a beautiful original melody composed by Deva herself. This also closes this heartfelt album, book-ending the entire project with two versions of the Sanskrit mantra. Deva's voice is as mesmerizing as ever, and on this album it graces some of the most sophisticated and tasty musical settings she has explored. It's noteworthy to mention a guest appearance by Anoushka Shankar on sitar for the gorgeous Prabhujee, which was composed by her late father. Eclectic and rhythmic, Deva is an uplifting gem — a refreshing, nourishing experience for your soul. (Prabhu Music) —Lynne Pilgrim Deva Chris MUSIC By Christine and the Queens By Deva Premal October/November 2018 23

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Whole Life Magazine - October / November 2018