Christina Perri- more than “Lovestrong”

I’m really starting to get convinced about one thing: every album can work if you listen to it in the right capacity. Whether you’re in love or after a terrible break-up [maybe that’s why Adele isn’t my thing- I’ve never been in a situation where her music would channel my feelings]… or in my case, it’s raining outside [Songs about Jane- Maroon 5], you’re on a train traveling into New York City [Multiply- Ed Sheeran], it’s dark out/wintertime [Ghost Stories- Coldplay], it’s snowing [My Head is an Animal- Of Monsters and Men] or the temperature is just right.

How or why I finally cracked the emotional casing of Christina Perri’s album that kept me from 100% committing to it, I can’t completely say.
But I’d had it in my car for at least a month. Maybe since I stopped keeping Coldplay in my car. [I went to Wal-mart to buy their new album, not caring if it’s not down to $10 yet… they didn’t have it… it’d be PERFECT for spring, so I would finally have a Coldplay album for every season].
And each time, I fall more and more in love with it.

Like many, I first heard Christina Perri on “so you think you can dance” (that show also introduced me to Lady Gaga- who I didn’t buy albums from until 2 years after, Katy Perry- 2 albums but not a big fan anymore, One Republic- no albums, Ne-Yo- no albums, and Timbaland- LOVE Nelly Furtado’s album he produced].
“Jar of Hearts” was SUCH a good song and Stacey Tookey’s choreography with Kathryn McCormick and Billy Bell just brought it to life… speaking of which, I should find and watch it again because it’s been AGES since I’d seen it last.

I think the show was practically the reason she got a record deal. The feedback was positive and HUGE.
And according to Wikipedia, her friend Keltie (who they said was a Rockette) gave the song to Stacey Tookey. So I guess we also need to thank Keltie for this as well.

So I bought the album in 2012, two years after she premiered it on the show, but I listened to it very rarely.
I loved the one song, but the rest, I didn’t have as strong a connection with.
I tried playing it during one of my video games (the realm was in the clouds) and that made me more receptive to it, but it still wasn’t quite right.

I’d written before how I like to bring out certain albums for certain seasons because that’s where they feel the best to me. I have winter and summer playlists and a few albums I bring out in the fall.
Spring was always the toughest season and it’s still kinda hard to find the right music for it.

And I honestly don’t know why I thought Christina Perri would work for it. A bunch of her songs are sad or about break-ups and that’s something better for fall or winter.

But this is the second year I put her in my car for springtime and somehow this time it just worked…
not just losing Prince, but I think also the news of Evgeni Plushenko needing another surgery… I think it’s her vocal style that is the reason for this turn of events. I didn’t feel good about either of those things and in part she helped me exorcise some inner demons and it was good therapy for me.
I’m at the point now where, in one case, I’m looking ahead to the future and another- I’m not as sad anymore and I’m ready to move on still loving him as much as I did when he was alive. Maybe more.

Singer-songwriters make up a lot of my album collection [well, the part of it not made up of Prince albums], so I thought she’d be a good fit.
And considering she was a small-time coffee shop type act- it’s kinda like the deal with Ed Sheeran’s Plus album. Small act with a studio behind them. Still kinda indie artist, but with a little more support. [His second album has more oomph and production behind it thanks to Pharrell’s involvement, but sometimes I kinda miss how his first album sounded more sparse].

“Bluebird” opens with the chorus, but before we return to it again, she goes into storytelling mode. That threw me off at first because I like a good chorus. It’s a good support system in a song- something you can rely on to be there for you. Especially when it’s the only part you remember the words to for quite some time.
Interesting thing I’d done with her album- I hadn’t really looked into the lyrics, but each time I listen, I remember more lyrics and I almost anticipate them coming. It’s very organic and it’s a nice change of pace for me. {there is a reason I love lyric booklets}.
the bluebird seems to be a friend of hers that’s interested in an ex-boyfriend she [Christina]’s still in love with. and the chorus is where all the emotion come spilling out- I love storytelling in songs, but it’s what I always wait for. Emotional and the ad-libbing at the end of it- very jazzy.

“Arms” I first heard in a commercial for a Nicholas Sparks movie. Wasn’t a big fan for sometimes mainly because of the chorus. Kinda contradicting myself here, lol. “put your arms around me, I’m home”… don’t know why but that sounded too cheesy.
The structure of this threw me off a bit too because it’s hard to tell when the chorus is coming or the pre-chorus bridge beforehand. At least until I got to know the song.
And going through all of it, I can relate… or at least it’s something I want in a future relationship.
“I hope that you see right through my walls. I hope that you catch me ’cause I’m already falling.”
I feel like I am guarded around the opposite sex and that’s what’s keeping me from taking that step to start dating. Even if I don’t have the opportunity to do so right now. And whoever I end up with, I want that feeling of security. But I’d also like to be stronger on my own before going forward. I’m better than I was, but still have a lot of issues with myself I’m working through.

“Bang Bang” was one of my early favorites with this album because it is really catchy and it’s joyful and upbeat. There’s not a lot of upbeat songs on this album. I think maybe it was her take on “Bang Bang (Shot Me Down)”… but it’s more hopeful.
Especially since she’s laughing in the fact of an ex-lover. Didn’t know until yesterday the final lyric of the chorus was “Karma tastes so sweet”… I did start to grasp beforehand that it was about an ex-lover who broke her heart and he got broken the same way by his next girlfriend.
The ultimate revenge anthem (except for maybe “Jar of Hearts” because it was what made her famous- like Adele did with “Rolling in the deep” and Jessica Meuse with “Blue-eyed lie”… or at least it made me a fan… I hope one day she finally gets that album out).

“Distance” follows the standard of the album. Piano-based ballad lamenting about love lost or insecurity.
From what I gather, it’s the latter.
“How long till we call this love” is the final sentiment we’re left with. Not exactly inspiring.
And it might also be part of why I didn’t like the album a lot at first. Very one-note when it’s depressing.
But at least that motif is used differently every time.

“Jar of Hearts”… the only other thing I can say about it… I used to not be able to get through this song without crying my eyes out. It is that emotional and really strong and well-written.

“Mine” is another upbeat song, but at first the sound of the guitar- which is the core instrument in this song- threw me. Not because this album is all piano, but it just sounded strange. Like it’s from a different era or type of music entirely.
It’s another good revenge-type anthem, but I had to get out the lyrics to really understand what it was about.
Sounds like this guy is pursuing her and she says a few times “I can’t love you”… mainly because he’s with somebody and wants to cheat with her.
And the “Mine” in the song- I thought it was maybe about her and the guy. But she’s laughing on the inside that she has a secret- the secret is she can’t love him back and it’s hers to know him and not never to find out. Either that or it’s knowing he wants to cheat on his girlfriend and he has no idea she’s not into it.

There’s an instrumental that leads into the song “Penguin”… the few times I listened to it, I gathered that she calls this guy her penguin because penguins mate for life and such.
Looking at the lyrics, it’s her inner voice saying this isn’t luck, he’s really your soulmate.
But it is so dragged out and vocally… I just don’t like it. It’s probably the biggest reason I didn’t like the album for some time cuz it kinda goes downhill afterwards.

“Miles” is oddly another song I couldn’t get through without crying.
Because it has one of the sweetest lyrics I’ve ever heard.
“Don’t count the miles- count the ‘I love you’s’ ”
Seriously, how can you not be overcome by that? Yeah, I’m a huge dork 😛
It’s about a long distance relationship she’s trying to make work and the sentiment is spot-on.
Despite the tears, one of the best choruses on the album. I think I am over my tearful reaction and now I just sing with a huge smile on my face 😀 that’s why music should be, assuming it is about something positive and happy.

Perhaps the one song responsible for me coming back to this album these past several weeks- “The Lonely”
It’s the last of my top 4 songs from this album- each has a notable chorus.
And this one is just everything. Great emotion, well-written lyrics, and most importantly, it’s MEMORABLE. Just to dance slowly in that empty room one more time, I gladly come back.
But considering how depressing and sad this song kinda is… that kinda sounds self-detrimental, doesn’t it?
Every now and then, though, we do need that, I think. Good therapy.

Dancing slowly in an empty room
can the lonely take the place of you
I sing myself a quiet lullaby
let you go and let the lonely in
to take my heart again

The whole package, in my opinion, is better than any Adele song. Not just dispensing emotion, but it’s easier to relate to on a personal level.
Especially you’re the type of person who cries themselves to sleep over a break-up.
I think “New Moon” might have also come off a little better if Bella had this song to lament to. Or her lament remotely resembled this.
I was devastated when Edward left when I read the book and I couldn’t wait to get along with Bella to see how she’d get through it. If she’d be crying all the time or be angry and throwing things.
To say the least, it was disappointing to find four pages blank except for one word on each. I was like “what the hell happened”… I just thought the whole “zombie” state was stupid. Not that she was depressed or withdrawn when Edward left. But considering how I put myself in her shoes throughout this journey of the stores, I felt left out.

Stephenie Meyer split “Breaking Dawn” between Bella and Jacob’s perspectives. Why couldn’t she have done that with “New Moon” but with Charlie or Mike Newton or Jessica?
Not even Charlie talking to Alice wasn’t enough for me- it was barely a couple pages- not nearly enough exposition for me.
I’d hate to be the cynic here but it sounds like she had no better ideas for this scenario and the blank pages were writer’s block. Or just laziness.
I think I could do better, actually. After I finish rewriting the screenplay for “Twilight” so it follows closer to the book, I’ll work on this. [My biggest nit-pick about “Twilight” as a movie… Bella had NO sense of humor. Or personality for that matter. In her narrative and dialogue, I found plenty. I also missed the chapter “Blood Type” because that had some great character moments- not just Bella, but Edward and Mike as well. SO disappointed the movie completely rewrote it in the form of a field trip that has compost, worms and Bella being a klutz so Edward can roll his eyes at “saving” her again].

I guess I bring up “Twilight” because while looking up lyrics, I remembered that Christina Perri did “A Thousand Years” for “Breaking Dawn”… I don’t know why I haven’t gotten it yet- it is so good and the way it was incorporated at the end of the last movie… the best send-off ever 😉

And the album goes downhill after “The Lonely” since I don’t connect to the last two songs as much.

The chorus for… seriously… this is called “Sad Song”…
it’s just weak to me. and it’s overused. Like I get to the end of the song and I’m like “when is this thing over?”
that’s not a good feeling to have.
…and the lyrics actually open with the sentiment “I’m going to write a sad song and it’s going to be long”…
that should have been a dead giveaway :facepalm:

the chorus basically says I’m sorry it’s not like me, it’s maturity I’m lacking, don’t let me go, growing up goes slow.
and I think it’s addressed to her parents and her family.
I guess I’d never been in the situation so there’s no connection to be had.
I think “growing up goes slow” is the lyric that leaves a bleh taste in my mouth. She’s done much better.

“Tragedy” I like a bit better actually…
They say “la la’s” aren’t legit lyrics, but some of my favorite songs have them in the chorus or in a melodic instrumental break section. It makes the song more powerful in the later moments.
Another relationship (or the same one of all these songs) is breaking up.
But it’s done so artfully. It takes a lot of what she did throughout all these songs. Emotion and of course relying on her piano. It’s kinda jazzy in places with her vocal delivery.

So yeah, that’s the album.
I’m starting to think about getting her second album. I had for years because “Human” is such a great song, but I think I’m waiting for the price to come down.
I know, I’m terrible about that. Unless I really love an artist, I sometimes like to wait for the album to come down in price before getting it. Especially when at full price they’re around $17-18. I don’t like to spend more than $15 if I can help it. But of course there are always exceptions.

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