For the 2010 album by Mat Kearney, see Mat Kearney.
Head or Heart is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Christina Perri, released on April 1, 2014, via Atlantic Records. It is Perri's first full-length release since her last studio album, Lovestrong (2011). It was originally expected to be released on March 11, 2014, but was pushed back to April 1, 2014.
Background and development:
In an interview with Pollstar's Sarah Marie Pittman published on April 25, 2014, Perri described the pressure surrounding the writing of her second album as unavoidable, stating: "I had to completely trick myself, to be quite honest, and pretend that absolutely nobody was going to listen."
The first song she wrote for the album was "Trust", which according to Perri inspired the rest of the album.
She wrote by herself for three months and then with other songwriters for three months, and had a total of 49 songs to choose from for the album by May, 2013. Perri says the 13 songs chosen for the album "were what I think are pure songs, where I wasn't trying."
Perri began tweeting and posting pictures on Instagram about the progress of her second studio album using the hashtag "#albumtwo", and on June 21, 2013, announced that the second album was coming together.
On November 11, 2013, Perri announced that her first single from her new album is called "Human", which was released on iTunes on November 18, 2013.
On November 28, 2013, Perri revealed that her second studio album would be titled Head or Heart and that it was due for release in March 2014.
Perri confessed during an interview with Radio.com that she felt burnt out after promoting her last album, Lovestrong (2011). She revealed, "I didn't want to do anything that wasn't genuine, and I was afraid of phoning it in or forcing anything. ... I remember laying on the floor of my house just crying. Good crying and sad crying at the same time. I was just trying to believe the things that had happened."
Recording and production:
The album was recorded in 2013 with producers Martin Johnson, Jake Gosling, John Hill and Butch Walker. She recorded nine of the album's songs with Gosling near London over an eight-week period before returning to Los Angeles to record the remaining four tracks.
In a December 2013 interview with Radio.com, Perri revealed she had worked with Ed Sheeran on a track called "Be My Forever". She stated:
I was the most in love I may have ever been in my whole life, which is awesome because I knew I had a happy song in me. ... As much as I love the heart-wrenching stuff, I didn't want to force a happy song, and I think you can always tell when a song is fake. I remember going in the studio with this guy and him looking at me and I was glowing. And I'm like, "I'm so sorry. I'm in love. This is going to be awful. We're never going to write a song."
In support of the album, Perri embarked on a two-month tour across North America. The Head or Heart Tour took place in the spring of 2014, from April 4 through May 26: it began in Denver, Colorado, and ended in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
"Human" was released as the first single from the album on November 18, 2013. As of June 2014, the single has sold over a million digital copies in the US. "Burning Gold" was released as the second single in the United Kingdom on June 9, 2014. The accompanying music video premiered on August 1, 2014.
Her third single off the album, "The Words" was released on January 26, 2015 along with the music video, starring Colin O'Donoghue and directed by Iouri Philippe Paillé.
Head or Heart debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200, selling 40,000 copies in its first week.
Upon its release, Head or Heart was met with generally mixed reviews from music critics. James Christopher Monger of AllMusic awarded the album 3 and a half out of 5 stars, and described the album as "more confident than her debut, yet retaining much of its vulnerability". In a 2 out of 5 stars review for The Guardian, Phil Mongredien stated that the album is "heavy on big, earnest ballads that - with the exception of the soaring 'Sea of Lovers' - are more technically proficient than engaging."
Credits adapted from booklet.
John Hill, Butch Walker
"Be My Forever" (featuring Ed Sheeran)
"I Don't Wanna Break"
"Sea of Lovers"
David Ryan Harris,
"Shot Me in the Heart"
Google Play bonus track
"Human (Uncovered Version)"
Australian Albums (ARIA)
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)
Canadian Albums (Billboard)
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)
Irish Albums (IRMA)
Scottish Albums (OCC)
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)
UK Albums (OCC)
US Billboard 200
April 1, 2014
Credits are adapted from AllMusic.
Jack Antonoff -- composer, musician, producer, programmer,
Jim Eliot -- composer,
Jake Gosling -- choir/chorus, engineer, musician, producer, programmer,
Kevin Griffin -- composer,
David Ryan Harris -- composer,
John Hill -- musician, producer, programmer,
David Hodges -- composer, musician,
Martin Johnson -- composer, engineer, mixing, musician, producer, programmer,
Christina Perri -- choir/chorus, composer, cover direction, musician, primary artist,
Jonathan Allen -- engineer,
Mark Bengston -- mixing assistant, Pro-Tools,
Chris Bernard -- drum technician,
Delbert Bowers -- assistant engineer, mixing assistant,
Michael Brauer -- mixing,
Tom Coyne -- mastering,
Gordon Davidson -- assistant,
Chris Gallad -- assistant engineer, mixing assistant,
Gersh -- drum technician,
John Horne -- assistant engineer,
Christian Humphreys -- assistant engineer,
Marcus Johnson -- assistant engineer,
Ruth Barrett -- string arrangements,
Charlie Bisharat -- strings,
Thomas Bowes -- leader,
David Campbell -- conductor, string arrangements,
Lori Casteel -- music preparation,
Mike Casteel -- music preparation,
Adam Coltman -- choir/chorus,
Tommy Culm -- choir/chorus,
Murray Cummings -- musician,
Sophie Davis -- choir/chorus,
Hannah Dawson -- musician,
Matt Funes -- strings,
Matthew Gooderham -- choir/chorus,
Eli Gosling -- children's chorus,
Lucy Gosling -- choir/chorus,
Peter Gosling -- choir/chorus, musician,
Zuban Gosling -- children's chorus,
Isobel Griffiths -- string contractor,
Julian Hallmark -- strings,
John Hanson -- musician,
Marianne Haynes -- musician,
Nicholas Holland -- musician,
Jeremy Isaac -- musician,
Suzie Katayama -- string contractor, strings,
Ryan Chisholm -- management,
Tony Corey -- marketing,
Pete Ganbarg -- A&R,
Tom Gates -- management