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Published May 19, 2011

Christina Perri's debut album Lovestrong plays on the heartstrings of the love birds and the lovesick.

This collection by the inked singer is full of cutesy acoustic numbers and heart-wrenching ballads. Perri belts out well-penned lyrics with her perfectly imperfect voice, a captivating imperfection that conveys passion and raw emotion in its somber, scratchy naturalness.

Lovestrong is geared mostly toward the heartbroken. The album blends the angst and hurt of heartbreak into a melancholy masterpiece. Even the more upbeat love songs have a dark cloud hanging over them, with sorrow seeping through the sappy lines: "I've never truly loved 'til you put your arms around me/And I believe that it's easier for you to let me go," Perri sings in Arms.

Along with sap, the piano pop album employs quirky lyrics ("Like a soulmate, you're my penguin"), genuine expression and vulnerability. It isn't a dog and pony show; Perri displays her feelings with simplistic beauty, lovely to listen to.

This is an album you listen to when Cupid's arrows sting. Lovestrong should be sold with a box of Kleenex.

SYMONE BROWN, Lakewood High

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Album review

Christina Perri


In stores: now

4 out of 5 stars