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on April 3, 2014
I’m one of those fans that was 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 authentic sound that needs to be appreciated.

***

Love that 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 its 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 addlibs 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 is a perfect transition from the previous because its 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 filter, but I can’t find that. It’s 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 make me want to soak in whatever comes next, which is absolute bliss. Once again, no abundant of instruments or effects, its 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, its 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 addictive hook, I was filled with an uncontrollable rhythm and I couldn’t help but dance. Those guitar riffs during the breakdown is 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 fairytale; I envision the artist walking through a field as she sings from the bottom of her heart, about making mistakes and learning form them. The choir-like harmonies are melancholy and represents 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 lost 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. Superb way to wrap up a well-delivered and magnificently constructed album.
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on April 1, 2014
Last year I was lucky enough to see Christina Perri live as she was the opening act for Jason Mraz. I didn't really know who she was at the time, but after seeing her and hearing her, I was a fan! She is GREAT! This album is a fantastic and beautiful album from the talented Christina Perri. Well worth buying, just as good if not better than her first album. Every song on the cd has melody, structure and they all seem to flow together beautifuly. They are all very well written, too, and they each have a story to tell. There's not a bad song on the whole cd! Probably my favorite song so far is "burning gold." The cd has a really pleasant, natural melodic flow to it, and Christiana's beautiful voice always conveys just the emotion she's looking for. All in all, if you liked her first cd, this one is a must have as well! Great!
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on April 1, 2014
This CD has grown on me. At first I only had a handful of songs I liked, but after listening to it a few times it's become a favorite. It is a bit different from her first. But Christina Perri always tells the truth through her songs. She's honest. And she has a great voice. I can't wait to see her live on the 26th! This CD is beautiful and haunting, you'll find yourself humming it at random times.
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on April 1, 2014
I have loved Christina from the beginning. Her first album was beautiful and she is amazing in concert, but for those thinking this CD is more full of more ballads, which is her wheelhouse, she breaks new ground on this CD and has a mix of songs that are all great. Usually listen to samples before I buy a cd, but this was a no brainer for me. Great new stuff!
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on April 1, 2014
Christina Perri is a marvelously talented singer. I've been looking forward to this album for months, and it was more than worth the wait. Her voice is stronger, lyrics tighter, production perfect. lovestrong. was a great first album (and luckily I got to see Perri live for the lovestrong. tour; I really recommend her shows--she sounds even better live), but I think Head or Heart is even better than lovestrong. This album shows her growth as a songwriter and I love that she isn't sticking to one sound. She's clearly grown as a person, so her music has evolved as well. A+
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on September 23, 2014
I'm kinda late to the party in reviewing this but here goes: This is ONE BEAUTIFUL ALBUM !!!!!! I bought "Lovestrong" a couple of years ago. Liked most of it, but not as much as this release. I have to say that just about every song is superb. While there were some "gems" on Lovestrong, with "Head or Heart", I can listen to it from beginning to end without getting tired of any of it !! I've been listening to music for over 50 years & there isn't too many albums I can say that about. (No doubt I'm one of her "older fans".)

I really like her writing style. Its obvious she wears her heart out on her sleeve & the songs show that. No hidden meanings or innuendo here, you know exactly what she's singing about !! In this release, every song sounds different than the previous one, which is a big plus. She can write in a variety of styles & tempos. Yes, most of her songs are either about relationships (good & bad), or about dealing with life's many challenges, but thats OK, I can relate to all those things.

Her voice is powerful, emotional & a little different than some of the other female artists I've listened to over the years. It has a bit of an edge to it that some may not care for but I love it !!

I'd like to pick a few favorite songs, but its hard to do because I love them all. From "Burning Gold", to "Human", to the beautiful "Sea of Lovers", to "Shot me in the heart" & ending with the inspirational masterpiece "I believe", it's all very, very good. She is a true "artist", which is somewhat of a dieing breed in music these days. She really has a knack for writing great songs.

Being somewhat "old school" as far as what I look for in music, the true test is a live performance. A couple of weeks ago my wife & I caught
Christina performing most of the new album at "UB Center for the Arts" outside of Buffalo.She did not disappoint, sounding every bit as good as we hoped.

Keep the great music coming Christina !!!
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on April 1, 2014
If you haven't discovered Christina Perri yet, it's time. While nothing can quite equal her live performances (She's on tour now- April 2014, definitely go see her!) Her voice is truly unique and haunting, you can feel the emotion in every note she sings. Plus she's an inspired song writer- beautiful lyrics and melodies you'll be humming along to all day.

If you loved her first album, you'll love this album more. If you don't have her first album, what are you waiting for? Stop reading and go buy it. Now!
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VINE VOICEon April 4, 2014
This sophomore effort does not disappoint. Head or Heart is a good follow-up to Lovestrong. All of the songs are good. There is no dud in the album. The standouts are Human, I Believe, and Trust. Some of the songs - Burning Gold, One Night, and By My Forever - are also quite catchy. This album is more triumphant than Lovestrong and it really is a very different album. It's so hard to compare the two. The issue for me is that there is no song that matches the intensity and pain of Jar of Hearts and there is nothing quite like Arms or The Lonely either. Those songs of heartbreak and vulnerability drew me (and many other people, I think) to Christina Perri. I don't think any song on Head or Heart has that level of passion. Thus, for me, Lovestrong is the superior album because it just exudes emotion. Nevertheless, Head or Heart is still very good and I can't fault the album for being overall a more upbeat album. It's just that it's happy. Whereas Lovestrong speaks to really raw emotions in a unique and special way. Heard or Heart just doesn't match that, even though it really is a very good album.
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on September 8, 2015
My daughter turned me on to Christina and we were lucky enough to see her in concert July 2015. I had heard a few of her songs prior to the concert. I am a product of 70's rock and have seen dozens of live concerts. Christina was truly wonderful, one of the best I have seen and heard. I bought both albums and LOVE her music. She is a rare talent. I have to add this album is not just about Christina, her incredible, poetic lyrics and her crystalline voice. It is just as much about the great music performed by her band. Absolutely stunning. It has become the one album I want to listen to when I'm alone and can blast my stereo. My favorite band is Pink Floyd and favorite rock album is Dark Side of the Moon, but Head or Heart has risen to a tie. My picks for the four albums I would bring to a deserted island. Dark Side, Head or Heart, Lara St. John's Bach Concerto Album and Viktoria Mullova's Four Seasons.
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on May 21, 2014
At first, it took me a while to appreciate all of her songs from "Lovestrong" but with "Arms", "Distance", and "Jar of Hearts", I was compelled to buy the album. Since then I grew to really like "Miles, Sad Songs" and the rest of the album. It was enough to buy "head or heart" on day one. I have heard "Human and Burning Gold" on youtube but I was still really worried I was set up for a disappointment. Since getting the album, I have been super impressed with Christina's second effort. In "head or heart", you still get her signature ballads like "Sea of Lovers", "Human" and "Burning Gold", but some more faster or upbeat songs like "I don't wanna break" and "Be my forever".

Some people will never give Christina a chance because her most famous song is "A Thousand Years" from the Twilight Saga, but she is a serious artist and over time, her voice and her songs will really really grow on you. Its pure voice and talent and once you see her in concert, you will be impressed with her personality and her passion in her songs. On top of all of this, she is super humble and funny in concert, which makes her a treasure in my book.
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