Christina Perri Returns With Third Studio Album “a lighter shade of blue” And It’s Everything We’ve Ever Dreamed Of

If you’re a hopeless romantic, you’re also likely a fan of Christina Perri. A hopeless romantic herself, Perri is a renowned singer-songwriter who wrote the chart-topping singles “Jar of Hearts,” “A Thousand Years,” and “human.”  Now, eight years after the release of her sophomore album head or heart, Perri has released her much-anticipated album a lighter shade of blue this past Friday, July 15. a lighter shade of blue is a breath-taking tribute to Perri’s own life journey and gives listeners insight into the transformation she has undergone while learning to understand and accept herself. Having started writing songs at 15 years old, Perri has found comfort and healing in music for many years and has used her career to help others do the same.

Christina Perri has often described the explosive start to her career as a “Cinderella story.” One day working as a waitress at Melrose Cafe, Perri was a global phenomenon the next. She initially moved to Los Angeles from her hometown in Philadelphia at the age of 21 intending to become a songwriter but struggled to break into the music industry. However, in 2010, Perri finally got her chance and was discovered on YouTube for a striking performance of her song “black and blue.” Perri’s life became a whirlwind, and she entered the studio to record her song “Jar of Hearts.” Her best friend, Keltie Knight, suggested the song to Stacey Tookey, a choreographer on the popular reality TV series So You Think You Can Dance. Tookey ran with the song and created a lyrical dance piece that captured the hearts of millions. “Jar of Hearts” aired on the show on June 30, 2010, and flew to the top of the charts where it stayed for many following weeks. Perri took advantage of the enormous momentum she had gained, releasing her debut album lovestrong. less than a year later in May 2011.  

Between 2010 and 2015, Perri completed 19 tours worldwide for both lovestrong. and head or heart. She has gained international recognition not only for “Jar of Hearts,” but also for “A Thousand Years” which recently surpassed 1 billion streams and 10 million sales. Originally featured in the Twilight saga soundtrack, the song has become a global anthem for lovers and romantics alike. She is beloved by many for sharing her music and stories which resonate with her audience and their own experiences with heartbreak, love, and growth. Her brutally honest writing style keeps listeners loyal to Perri; she does not back down from the painful truth of heartbreak, nor does she neglect the challenges that come with love and compassion. Perri’s 2013 single “human” is one such song that has spoken to millions of listeners and has helped many come to accept themselves and heal alongside the singer.

Christina Perri - Contrast Magazine

Over the course of her career, Christina Perri has taken advantage of her platform and advocates for mental health awareness. She is no stranger to both depression and anxiety with which she has struggled since she was a child. Over the years, she has been candid about her struggles with mental health and sobriety. She encourages people to open difficult, yet important conversations and to check in on each other. Additionally, she encourages those who struggle with their mental health to take the first step to healing by reaching out for help.

As a mother, Perri further presses the importance of seeking support from others as well as educating oneself. Having experienced postpartum depression following the birth of her first daughter, Carmella, Perri has taken the opportunity to speak out about the challenges that come with motherhood. From mental health changes to feeling shame for having a career, Perri sheds light on struggles that moms too often face alone. She has discussed these issues and has brought them to the public eye in interviews and podcasts such as The Motherly Podcast, as well as her own radio show with Aijia Grammer, Moms In Music. She further outlines these topics in her song “mothers,” which is featured on a lighter shade of blue.

Christina Perri has discussed the importance of knowing pregnancy risks and having self-advocacy in healthcare as well. Perri experienced a miscarriage in early 2020, which was followed by the loss of her daughter Rosie later that year. Perri has since opened up not only about the tremendous grief and pain that she and her family underwent, but also about what she has learned. One of many women who has been diagnosed with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), Perri now has the knowledge and treatment necessary to help prevent future loss and is expecting a daughter this fall. She encourages all mothers to know their options and request a simple test if chosen that can reveal APS and allow for proper treatment. Perri has revealed her own inner strength by dedicating herself to understanding the pain she has faced and further still, by sharing what she has learned with others. It is from such a place of honesty and resilience that Perri opens her arms to her audience with a lighter shade of blue.

Christina Perri - Contrast Magazine
Christina Perri - Contrast Magazine

Lastly, Perri names the song, “blue,” as her favorite. In an interview with her husband Paul Costabile at The Drop at the Grammy Museum, Perri explained how this song inspired the concept for the entire album. She described how she has lived with depression since she was four years old and has represented the deep sadness she has always felt with the color blue. While the decision to grow “lighter” or “darker” shades of blue has been an important choice throughout her life, she accepts that blue “has always been [her] color.” She does not deny who she is or tries to be someone she is not; but in accepting herself, she reclaims her power to love and to choose compassion for herself.

a lighter shade of blue is also a demonstration of first-rate feminine skill and collaboration in the music industry. Acknowledging the disparities in opportunities and representation for women within the music industry, Christina Perri actively sought out women creators to help bring her album to life. Major contributors include Jennifer Decilveo who produced the album with the help of Gena Johnson and co-wrote many tracks. Additionally, other co-writers include Amy Wadge, AG (Adrianne Gonzalez), Aijia Grammer, Mozella, Nicky Costabile (who also assisted in vocal production),  Rachel Platten, and Wendy Wang.

a lighter shade of blue is well worth the eight years we have waited and lives up to Perri’s reputation for making you cry while making you feel seen in a way you haven’t felt before. A true triumph of resilience and love, a lighter shade of blue is an absolute “must-listen.” Christina Perri has mentioned plans to tour the album with bandmates Emily Grace Frost and Johnny Hanson, so stay tuned for upcoming tour dates. Stream a lighter shade of blue now wherever you listen to music, and tune into Christina Perri’s live radio show on Amp, Moms In Music, every Friday morning.

Photography by Ashley Osborn.
Stylist by Mercedes Natalia.
Hair/Makeup by April Batista.

Contributing Entertainment Writer, Contrast Magazine.

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