Reviewed by Julianne Cassidy
Double platinum overnight-sensation, Christina Perri, is lovestrong. But instead of a “don’t-need-a-man,” Girl Power debut-album, Perri fuels her strength in unabashed vulnerability.
The opening line, of the first song, “bluebird”, epitomizes lovestrong: How the hell does a broken heart/get back together/when it’s torn apart? Teach itself to start/beating again.
Drenched in lovesick ballads, “arms” [second album single] is brighter and Folky-paced, lyrically fighting the hesitant war between head versus heart, and subsequently succumbing to a hesitant yet trusting love. Likewise, “distance” portrays the same genuine desirous yearning, as it incorporates female and male background vocals for a dual-aching effect.
Flirting with a cabaret-style, “bang bang bang” is lovestrong’s most refreshing animated Pop-melody, as it satisfyingly drips with revenge in a saucy anthem-worthy chorus [please note: clapping-along necessary.] There’s also an insatiable quality about “Mine,” and its galloping guitar/piano instrumental.
A dreamy, piano-coated “interlude,” breaks the emotional rollercoaster of the first half of the album. “penguin,” an Acoustic lullaby continues this lighthearted simplistic-nature, directly followed by “miles” which is reminiscent of [a gritty] Colbie Caillat, and her lyrical pursuit of an optimistic love affair.
“tragedy” is the last track on lovestrong, and lyrically fitting as so: The meaning of tragedy/you might be surprised to hear/it’s you and me. Laced with haunting strings, Perri’s sultry vocals smolder, showcasing her range, while bitterly poisoning each regretful mention of love.
It’s undeniable that “jar of hearts” is the highlight of lovestrong as it resulted in this indie Philly-native being signed by Atlantic Records, after being featured on FOX’s hit-reality show, “So You Think You Can Dance?” Yet, it only showcases the beginning of Perri’s possibility.
Even her hopeless songs, are rooted in an element of strength. She’s lyrically striving to breathe, lusting to not be suffocated by the depths of one’s heart. Remaining strong amidst blissful and/cruel moments of romance. Loving strong.
Although drowning in ballads, Perri is unmistakably passionate. Her vocals are raw, honest, and intriguing. There is an unequivocal potential still to be exposed. Second album?