Album Review: “Head or Heart” by Christina Perri

I’m one of those fans always anticipating the return of Christina Perri, with her addictive indie flow and that versatile and meaningful music. This woman deserves more recognition for her art, and I’m pleased to be able to not only listen to her sophomore album but to write a review as well. No bias. Just appreciation for an authentic sound that needs to be appreciated.


I love the gritty feeling that plunges in with the opening guitar strings in Trust. Then once the melodies hook you, Christina leaps in with these skin-tingling vocals. What I enjoy about her sound is not only the subtleness, where the songs aren’t overdone with all these instruments or beats in the background, but I love her clarity and ability to connect on a unique level. Trust is almost like a part two to Jar of Hearts. It certainly plays on that ache and moving on from it, because Christina sings about learning to trust and knowing that it’s hard but she has to move on from it.

Burning Gold picks up the tempo and is all about empowerment and knowing when to say goodbye to the things that hurt and won’t uplift you.

Be My Forever is a wonderfully sweet and romantic duet with Ed Sheeran. This song is already a fan favorite and is garnering lots of attention for its flowy harmonies, catchy hook, and groovy beat. I also love that happy go lucky vibe depicted throughout the song, and towards the end, you actually hear some laughter. It gives you this warm, fuzzy feeling inside and you’ll keep listening and remembering it even after you close your eyes. Love it.

When I heard Human, I was like whoa! Christina Perri is back! I absolutely love this song and cannot get enough of it. This song is always on blast when I put it on and that has been every day since its release. Such a beautiful production with heartfelt and realistic lyrics, not to mention there’s so much energy that derives from every aspect of the song. These are the kind of songs I want to hear playing on the radio. Something of purpose and deep, substantial meaning.

While the previous brought us back down a tad to a more mellow vibe, One Night brings it up a notch. This song has so much going for it, including metaphoric terms of what Christina wants to represent in her relationship. Love the backing adlibs and sensual she sounds. It’s a more intimate track I would say. I like it, but need a few more listens to really fall in love with it.

Okay, the power returns in I Don’t Wanna Break. Love the rush it sends through my body. The musical arrangement is just phenomenal. This is most definitely in contention to become a single as well. It’s solid and can stand on its own, especially among a generation who loves to dance. The song is about going through everything together; loving, living, breaking together. Great message. Great song.

Sea of Lovers is the next ballad on the album. Breathtaking. Invigorating. Thought-provoking. It gives you all the emotional feels you can think of. Christina’s lyrics are as poetic as ever. They tug at the heart. I think this song is a perfect transition from the previous because it’s also about not letting go. Such a sweet love song.

For some reason, I keep waiting to hear maybe a downfall or a track that just doesn’t fit on the album and sounds like a filler, but I can’t find that. It’s a totally magnificent production so far, especially when The Words come in. Another ballad, yet even more powerful than the previous. I think the haunting strings are what really captivate me in the beginning. It opens up my heart and mind and makes me want to soak in whatever comes next, which is absolute bliss. Once again, no abundance of instruments or effects, just the singer, her piano, and violin. If the ballads were about love and the depth of it, this one takes that up to a much higher level. It’s a spine-chilling dedication to someone who means the world to her. This is the anthem for couples. In my opinion, it is about honesty and moving forward.

Lonely Child springs forth the groovy segment of the album. Love the Latin influence in this alternative rock, pop song. At first, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the track when the beat first came in. Then once the artist brought forth those catchy verses and an addictive hook, I was filled with an uncontrollable rhythm and I couldn’t help but dance. Those guitar riffs during the breakdown are the highlight of the song. I love the sexy appeal and laid back arrangement. It makes me want to come back for seconds.

Run captures that gritty and fierce persona I first heard in Jar of Hearts. When she takes off during the second first, I felt every emotion. I was like man, Christina Perri means business. The song is relaxed in the way it is arranged but electrifying in all sense. Love the words. Love the concept. Love the dramatic production because it emphasizes on the purpose of the track.

The journey continues with the celestial Butterfly. It sounds like a fairy-tale; I envision the artist walking through a field as she sings from the bottom of her heart, about making mistakes and learning from them. The choir-like harmonies are melancholy and represent the beauty of butterflies. It’s bittersweet in a way because even though the song is called butterfly, the words tell a story about a guy who uses lines to try to win her over and may eventually hurt her, but Christina is smart and already sees beneath his charms. Once again, good message.

So throughout the album, I heard a story of the ups and down of love. In Shot Me in the Heart, the relationship is over. He’s broken her heart and she’s done with him. Christina sings about doing her best and investing a lot into her love. She’s at a loss at how it ended up going downhill, but she only wants him to leave her alone because he’s really done a number on her heart. I like how she makes the music playful, yet the words are sad. If anything, the uptempo music arrangement is take away from the sorrow ballad the song could have been instead.

The album concludes with the powerful number, I believe. It makes you feel like rising again after being down and low after a period of time. It’s good to believe things will get better and do the best you can to achieve all you want and do what you want. There’s also a message to hang on when you think you absolutely can’t. Christina’s saying she’s with you, has experienced that low as well, and you’ll get through it like she did. My gosh, the lyrics are deep and honest. You really feel that message when it gets to the bridge she carries us out with “This is not the end of me, this is the beginning…” true words indeed. There’s no way you can dislike such a song. I see another single here. A superb way to wrap up a well-delivered and magnificently constructed album.

Release date: April 1st 2014

Label: Atlantic

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Rating: 5/5


*This review is not based on the opinion of EY as a whole, and is only the opinion of the reviewer, Kai

Image credits: Christina Perri official website

Video credit: lovemspenny

2 thoughts on “Album Review: “Head or Heart” by Christina Perri

  1. Was thinking of checking this out, and for me it was another of those ‘Will I or won’t I?’ situations, but your review’s convinced me to make the jump! ‘Human’ has been a fav of mine all winter.

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