CD REVIEW: Christina Perri "lovestrong."

For all the adoration Alanis Morrisette gained from the then-current generation of women when she first sang of going down on Dave Coulier (Uncle Joey from TV's "Full House") in a theater back in the late '90's, the truth of the matter is that she set female-driven rock back a good decade.

Once Morrisette lowered the bar, she made the pop world safe for little rocker girls to diss men in general with classless put-downs and such, cute as they may have been on the surface.

Upon listening to Christina Perri's elegiac "Jar Of Hearts" a few months ago, I realized that this was a song that could have, should have happened years ago, for it is a sophisticated, heart-wrenching, and lyrically clever ballad that throws no punches, even if the man to whom it is directed may have thrown more than his fair share.

"You're gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don't come back for me
Who do you think you are?"

Those simple words elicit just as much, if not more, venom than Morrisette ever could.

The thing is, for all of its lofty aspirations and promise, the rest of the album seems to wish to exist in a world of female artists whose only reason for existing is to provide music for Target and Visa commercials. Pleasant, yes, but forgotten the minute the sound waves dissipate.

"Mine" appears at the album's halfway point to rescue the album from it's own overly-earnest, piano-driven redundancy. Are those amplified guitars we hear? Blessed Jesus, yes!

And as pleasant as songs "Miles", "The Lonely" and "Sad Song" (not to be confused with the song of the same name by The Cars, reviewed above) may be, they are each cut from much the same fabric that we can't help but wonder if they could not have been put to better use, combined somehow into one mother of a song that stops your heart each time you hear it.

Album closer "Tragedy" recalls any number of songs off Brandi Carlisle's "The Story" with its solemn, driven and determined mourning of something that never was (i.e, true love). While not the slam dunk we were hoping for, this album gives us enough to hang our hat on to keep an eye on this one.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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