Music » Rhythm & Views

Christina Perri: lovestrong. (Atlantic)

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The theme of singer Christina Perri's full-length debut album is clear from its first lyrics. The opening track "Bluebird" begins with her rhetorical question, "How the hell does a broken heart / get back together when it's torn apart / and teach itself to start beating again?" The music lurches along on a simple piano riff and power-ballad guitars, sounding like a bargain-basement Alanis Morissette tune.

This album isn't the listening public's first experience with the Philadelphia-born Perri, who shot to fame last year when her "Jar of Hearts" was featured on an episode of TV's So You Think You Can Dance and went double-platinum. Inevitably, it was featured on Glee, too, and it is included here.

Most of the overproduced mainstream pop tracks on this solid if unimpressive album trade in sentiments that teenagers might scrawl in the margins of their notebooks: "You put your arms around me and I'm home"; "A secret's safe behind a pretty smile"; "I won't be made a fool of / don't call this love." Thanks to that canny combination, this album likely could yield several more hits.

Among the few exceptions to the formula is the new-wavey kiss-off tune "Bang Bang Bang," in which a cheating boyfriend gets his comeuppance; Perri's spunky vocals are impassioned and convincing. She also lets down her guard invitingly on the quiet, mostly acoustic number "Penguin."

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