Three years ago, singer-songwriter Christina Perri won over the hearts of music fans everywhere, not just by her single “Jar Of Hearts” but also by the story of discovery and whirlwind success that surrounded it. When the demo version of the tune played on the Fox series So You Think You Can Dance in the summer of 2010, Perri was an unknown, unsigned artist waiting tables for a living; a few weeks later, she was a chart sensation, with her new record label Atlantic Records scrambling to catch up. The single went on to go triple-platinum, carrying Perri’s subsequent debut album lovestrong to a respectable level of success, and even garnering Perri a slot on the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn soundtrack with another chart-buster, “A Thousand Years.”
This week, Perri has released a new single, “Human,” in advance of an upcoming sophomore album due out in spring 2014. Like her previous work, it’s emotional, vulnerable, sweet, and memorable—all the qualities that make for a good ballad hit. (You can listen below to see if you agree with me.)
But this compliment comes with a caveat: if Perri is not careful, she’s going to pigeonhole herself as the queen of the string-laden, lovelorn ballad. Without fail, every single she has released thus far, including “Human,” is just this kind of slow-paced, emotional tune. Perhaps that’s what she’s shooting for, and that’s okay—but I worry whether at some point she’s going to saturate her own market with songs that sound too much like one another. Here’s hoping the upcoming album shows just a little more range for an artist who certainly deserves to be heard.