Friday, February 14th, 2020

Christine and the Queens – People, I’ve Been Sad

People, we feel glad…


Wayne Weizhen Zhang: “People, I’ve Been Sad” is the definition of sublime. Chris’s voice envelops you like a weighted blanket, gravity and warmth for when the burden of the world makes it impossible to leave bed. Underneath, cocooned in cloth — purple and pastel, soft and cotton, the scent of fresh linen — your whole being can feel safe. There’s no peace achieved, but there will be soon. 

Ashley Bardhan: This song sounds like walking down stairs, or taking a bath when you’re home alone. I find it really unsexy, which I’m glad for in the sea of “sadness is a superpower!” rhetoric that we use to make ourselves feel better, although everything is shit. I don’t like feeling sad, it doesn’t feel good.

Ryo Miyauchi: Just another “everything is horrible” pop by a millennial for millennials that I don’t exactly enjoy because gee, I get it, you don’t have to sing to me what I’m already seeing enough of — or so I thought this would be. While the opening verses carry the ironic-yet-sincere tone of its title, Letissier warmly opens up her empathy for the disenfranchised in pace with the slow grind of this electro-funk ballad. Her tenderness mutes the noise, stopping it from feeling too much, and her patience is a much-needed remedy when the days seem to blur before our eyes.

Alfred Soto: The comma’s the giveaway: Héloïse Letissier constructs guardrails around her most dangerous emotions. They’re there in how the programmed drums come down with devastating precision after each call-and-response harmony. When English won’t offer comfort she switches to her native French. 

Thomas Inskeep: This confessional from Héloïse Letissier is well-served by its production, which purposefully moves glacially, almost like stripped-down darkwave. The fact that the lyrics are in both English and French matters not: you can tell what she’s saying thanks to how she delivers it, even without understanding all the words.

Brad Shoup: The gulping bass and deliberate pace recall “Play by Play”, but Chris metes out her syllables even more sharply. I like how plainspoken this is, how reconciled it is to feeling glum.

Vikram Joseph: In the hands of Christine and the Queens, emotions are overwhelming and all-encompassing, blown up to life-size proportions. Sadness here becomes an almost transcendent thing, a high-definition time-lapse of a blazing winter sunset, soft waves of synth billowing like clouds. This sounds like an album track more than a single, but when the album in question is Chris that’s hardly a bad thing.

Scott Mildenhall: Reaching out as she recedes, Christine and the Queens addresses the audience as if in an anthem. In centring this on her own graceful desolation, she merely makes it more communal; an “Everybody Hurts”-esque move into directness from an artist known for the oblique and the figurative. Although the explicit English contrasts with the symbolic French, “People, I’ve Been Sad” remains a rallying cry rather than an indulgence, a reminder that it isn’t an indulgence to feel sad.

Reader average: [5.68] (16 votes)

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2 Responses to “Christine and the Queens – People, I’ve Been Sad”

  1. Huh, apparently I should have blurbed this – it was about a [4] or [5] for me.

  2. I think this was a [7] for me when I first heard it, but by the end of the year it was a song that really defined 2020 for me. If this had come out in April or May I think I would have appreciated it much better back then. I underrated it so bad.

    The way she works the vocals on the chorus is so clever, it keeps astonishing me. Btw, her Colors performance of this song is perhaps one of the best ones in that channel ever.