Christina Perri : Head or Heart


Christina Perri is back with new material after 3 years of recording – she is the singer known for bringing us the achingly beautiful ballad “Jar of Hearts” and what is, in my opinion, one of the best love songs in recent years, Twilight’s theme song “A Thousand Years (Part 2)” what beautiful lyrics and a song so brilliantly crafted for the movie. It fathoms me how songs like these miss out on a nomination for Song of the Year come Grammy Awards when songs like “Single Ladies (Put Your Hands Up)” and “Roar” get a nod.

The American singer and brilliant poet of a songwriter is back with her sophomore album “Head or Heart”. True to the title, Perri takes us on a journey with her as she confidently strides forward from a vulnerable memory lane full of love, lust, broken heart and the age old crossroads where you learn when to listen to your heart and when to think with your head.

Since first listening to “Jar of Hearts” I have become a fan of how Perri can capture life moments and timelessly put them into beautifully written lyrics. In “Head or Heart” her talent of writing relatable songs are in abundance, my favourite being “The Words” a song about the initial fear of letting go of the past – the first thoughts and eventual steps of breaking down your own barriers and walls to be able to let someone in.

“All of the lights land on you
The rest of the world fades from you
And all of the love I see
Please please say you feel it too
And all of the noise I hear inside
Restless and loud, unspoken and wild
And all that you need to say
To make it all go away
It’s that you feel the same way too

And I know
The scariest part is letting go
Cause love is a ghost you can’t control
I promise you the truth can’t hurt us now
So let the words slip out of your mouth

And all of the stairs that land me to you
And all of the hell I has you walk through
But I wouldn’t trade a day for the chance to say
My love, I’m in love with you

And I know
The scariest part is letting go
Cause love is a ghost you can’t control
I promise you the truth can’t hurt us now
So let the words slip out of your mouth

I know that we’re both afraid
We both made the same mistakes
An open heart is an open wound to you
And in the wind there’s a heavy choice
Love has a quiet voice
Still you mind, now I’m yours to choose”

Other lyrical standouts bound to resonate with listeners are; album opener “Trust”, “Burning Gold”, “Sea of Lovers” and “Human” which was released as the album’s lead single back in November 2013.

Trust : A line in the song says it all “I knew better than to trust in love again” its a classic case of ignoring/blocking what your heart is feeling and listening to your head in order to “protect” yourself from hurt.

Burning Gold : Probably should have served as the album’s lead single and my pick as Head or Heart’s best track (“The Words” is a close second). This is one of those “In with the good, out with the bad” songs, life changing and setting fire to the old way of thinking and welcoming the new phoenix-like you who have risen from all the setbacks.

Sea of Lovers : One of the standouts in the album, Christina Perri and co-writer Jim Elliot are in their metaphoric best in this song about finding someone who sweeps you off your feet.

Human : A confessional song about all the sacrifices and things our patience is capable of affording, but as the song says – at the end of the day we’re all only human, we have our limits.

As for potential singles, her only collaboration in the album – “Be My Forever” featuring Ed Sheeran is at the top of the list the duet is just too radio friendly and bouncy not to be released as a single. The beguiling “One Night” can also serve as an inviting single and “Shot Me In The Heart” where breaking “something incredible” has never sounded so friendly – perfect for getting over someone and moving on moments in life.

With only 3 tracks that can be considered as fillers, “Head or Heart” is a unified set of songs which flows fluidly from beginning to end. Its taken Perri 3 years to produce her sophomore record – a smart move as her new record confidently departs from her debut record “lovestrong” and succeeds in not trying too hard to be “different” – a common transitional mistake amongst many new artists. How refreshing for a young artist to be given artistic freedoom in a dying industry full of manufactured talents, Christina Perri and her producers Jake Gosling, Butch Walker, John Hill and Martin Johnson should be well pleased with what they’ve created.

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