Acoustic Sounds

Christina Perri




Christina Perri Lovestrong vinyl

Label: Atlantic Records

Produced By: Joe Chiccarelli, David Hodges, and Barrett Yeretsian

Engineered By: Graham Hope, Geoff Neal, Lars Fox, Dave Schwerkolt, and Barrett Yeretsian

Mixed By: Michael H. Brauer, Ryan Gilligan, and Malcolm Welsford

Mastered By: Ted Jensen (Sterling Sound)

By: Dylan Peggin

December 2nd, 2023



Christina Perri Wore Her Heart on Her Sleeve with “Lovestrong”

The Philly singer-songwriter’s debut album receives its first vinyl pressing

It's few and far between for a song by an unknown artist with no label distribution to premiere on television. When “Jar of Hearts” premiered on "So You Think You Can Dance" in June 2010, the stars aligned for Christina Perri. The Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter penned the song amidst a breakup with a former flame, longing to piece together what was no longer salvageable. Its hook-heavy arrangement and universal lyrical sentiment struck a chord in listeners, landing a chart position of #17 and 48,000 downloads in a week. Perri was a hot-button commodity and piqued the interest of Atlantic Records, who signed and released her debut album, Lovestrong.

“Bluebird” opens with the lyric, “How the hell does a broken heart get back together when it's torn apart?” It sets the tone for the emotional rollercoaster Lovestrong rides through. Sprinkled across the album are moments of hope (“Arms,” “Penguin,” and “Miles”), anguish (“The Lonely,” “Sad Song,” and “Tragedy”), and infectious swagger (“Bang Bang Bang” and “Mine”). Jason Mraz, a regular of the folk-pop scene, duets with Christina on the track “Distance.” Perri’s choice of accessible melodies and chord sequences hark back to the folk-pop stylings of Sara Bareilles and Natalie Merchant. The lyrics show a vulnerable side to her, as she doesn’t take qualms wearing her heart on her sleeve. 

Perri’s association with pop music doesn’t make her a musical one-trick pony. Mandocellos, accordions, exotic guitars, and David Campbell’s string arrangements provide an intriguing quality and depth to each song’s specific arrangement. One of Lovestrong’s biggest musical strengths is the backing band of drummer Elmo Lovano, bassist Jenni Tarma, and guitarist John Anderson. Rather than Christina residing in typical solo singer-songwriter territory, these auxiliary players provide a more lively feel to the songs. 

Upon its original release in May 2011, Lovestrong never received a vinyl pressing. Despite “Jar of Hearts” leaving its mark by being certified 6x Platinum, the album is still one of the undermined pop gems of the early 2010s. Numerous releases have coincided with Atlantic Records’ 75th anniversary, between the highly reputable Analogue Productions reissues or the line of limited edition clear vinyl pressings. An opportunity like this is a prime time to give Lovestrong its much-needed vinyl treatment.

Christina Perri LovestrongThe vinyl packaging of Lovestrong is just as “no-frills” as the original CD release. The songs’ lyrics and various production credits, in an aesthetically suiting typewriter font, adorn the printed inner sleeve. While the choice of clear vinyl defaults for Atlantic’s 75th-anniversary line of releases, it pairs well with the grey overtones of the album artwork, albeit a bit noisy at moments.

Whether it’s the digital sheen of the recording or the EQ choices of Memphis Record Pressing’s cutting engineer, Lovestrong on vinyl is puzzling at moments. Elmo Lovano’s kickdrum is EQ’d in a way that cuts through the mix, obscuring some of the more intricate layers of instrumentation. The excessive use of compression, particularly on orchestral tracks like “Jar of Hearts” and “The Lonely,” sucks out the air of the recording. It would be beneficial if the album were re-EQ’d or remixed because these songs deserve to shine through hi-fi speakers more than a pair of earbuds.

A vinyl debut pressing is better than no vinyl pressing at all. It is about time that the roots of what made Christina Perri’s artistry so unique made their way onto the grooves.

Music Specifications

Catalog No: 075678626227

Pressing Plant: Memphis Record Pressing (MRP)

Speed/RPM: 33 1/3

Weight: 140 grams

Size: 12"

Presentation: Single LP