It seems Christina Perri's problems not only lie in the decision of whether if she should choose the head or the heart, but rather vocally and tonally, she needs to make up her mind as well. Does this album live up to the hype (if there is any) and does it succeed at being better than her debut album? All these questions add to the stickiness of intrigue.
For starters, I'm not a big fan of Christina Perri and never was since her debut album, Lovestrong. Albeit the album had decent tracks (the famous Jar of Hearts and one of my favourites, Distance), it's just not on the level that other peers work with in the same genre. That is a very troubling message considering her popularity rose even higher with the release of the Twilight-driven single, A Thousand Years. Though she did deserve some of the attention, I guess the criticism did too.
Bare in mind I haven't touched on Lovestrong for the most part, and you could consider this an album review solely on Head or Heart, but the album just falls apart so, so heavily. Let's touch on some of the better points in my opinion.
Firstly, the album starts out relatively strong with Burning Gold and Be My Forever probably being the stand-out tracks out of the three (Ed Sheeran was amazing on the latter track as always). Then Human picks up the slack, which for me, I didn't like from the beginning of it's release back in November. If you notice now, Perri relies very heavily on the instrumental tracks to lead her rather than taking charge with her vocal delivery. That is a plus point, considering she is self-aware in most occasions, and she doesn't overdo it as well. Another track that stands out is One Night which shows the piano lurking, overbearing on the chorus but the problem lies in another category (which I will talk about later).
Secondly, the melodies are more of a hit than miss, and considering the tracks are somewhat dramatic and high-toned, Perri matches it to a certain weight at the extent of her not-so-high vocal delivery which actually does drag her down on too many conditions. Still, it worked very well.
Thirdly, most of the tracks are capable of being more than what they are, and Perri knows that, and the tracks do showcase most of her vocal delivery (which doesn't necessarily has to peak high every single time), on songs such as Run and Lonely Child.
Now that we've got the good points out of the way, this is when Christina Perri capitulates on her own solo album. None of the tracks run well on their own, and since most of the tracks are strong when played on repetition, none of them stand up well enough to even earn it. Human certainly doesn't. Burning Gold certainly doesn't. That's when it fell apart almost very quickly. It seemed as though for this album, the foundation was built upon what thrived exceptionally well on A Thousand Years, which wasn't really all that talent-precision considering the fan base pushed it well beyond borders when it wasn't possible. Christina Perri focuses too much on grabbing her own attention, and extending her vocals rather than keeping it on her own footing and letting the songs go on their own. Her efforts makes the songs almost dull, Broadway-esque and similarly lacking in other areas.
There are standout tracks, but even the flaws outweighs the goods. The album is inconsistent from the get-go, the build-ups don't work and many of the tracks don't deserve a spot on the album. The album makes Jar of Hearts and A Thousand Years feel like fluke popular tracks that were designed for mainstream, which the former probably is while the latter was certainly not. The self-aware measures weren't high enough and while Perri might've strained herself to reach those peaks and valleys vocally, she does it while not noticing her versatility and her vocal range, making the tracks stumble and crumble almost immediately.
Favourite Tracks: Be My Forever (featuring Ed Sheeran)
Least Favourite Tracks: Human, Run, Shot In The Heart, (And Others)
If you're a Christina Perri fan, you'll love it. If you're not, I might recommend some tracks but even those are under-worked, under-developed and are just not good enough. Perri has work to do. A lot of work to do.
Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.