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Bensalem Pop Star's Second Album Appeals to 'Head or Heart'

By KYW's Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)  --  In just a couple weeks, she'll be performing for a hometown crowd at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia. But first, Christina Perri has a new album to release: 'Head or Heart' comes out on Tuesday, and it has the star singing a different tune.

Being from Bensalem, Bucks County, there are certain songs Perri might want to cover one day...

(Sings the KYW jingle:) "KYW Newsradio 1060!"

Our jingle's not on the album, but 'Human' is:

(Sings:) "I'm only human, and I bleed when I fall down..."

For Perri, 'Human,' the set's leading single, is the moment she gets back up and tries again, after so much success early this decade with the multi-million-selling 'Jar of Hearts' (from her debut album, 'lovestrong.') and the quadruple-platinum 'A Thousand Years' (from the soundtrack to 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1').

"I had no idea that anyone was going to hear this song because I, personally, was going through such a little crisis at that time that I was sitting at a piano crying -- literally crying, having a complete meltdown," Perri tells KYW Newsradio. "And I wrote this song to make me feel better."

For the rest of us, she says 'Human' is a song about perseverance.

"It's about that moment where you have to forgive yourself when something that you really believed in and really worked hard for falls apart or ends," Perri explains. "And then in between -- that moment when you try again. It's such a vulnerable moment."

That's where Perri says she found herself: at a piano, wondering what was next for her, her career, her fans, when those words -- 'I'm only human' -- came out.

"And then I was like -- now I can write a song," she says. "I can start the day now. So it was a really organic thing that happened. I felt strongly about saying that I've been gone for a little while, seemingly hidden away making this album, and the first thing I wanted to say back was this song."

If 'Human' speaks to the head, 'Be My Forever' -- a duet with British star Ed Sheeran -- unabashedly sets sights on the heart.

(Sings:) "We're on top of the world now darlin', so don't let go / I've got something to say: you're perfect in every way."

"I dared myself to try something new and I was so glad that I did," Perri says. "Sonically, this album is very next level for me because it features a lot more instruments, a lot more synths, and cool sounds that I just never thought would sound good with me. But I just was wrong -- I think I was just afraid of it. I did not compromise anything creatively on this album. It's really scary to be this involved with something I haven't put out yet because I have no idea what the world is going to say. But I know that I really like it."

Perri is looking forward to hearing what her fans in Philadelphia have to say about "Head or Heart" at her Electric Factory concert on April 19th.

"I can't believe I'm going to play there!" Perri says. "It's so crazy. I've seen so many of my favorite people there. The energy is going to be so wonderful. I assume that my personality on stage is going to be different from any other show. And I'll try to figure out something cute to do for everybody in Philly -- because it's my home town."

If you've never been to a Christina Perri show, you might not be prepared for the penguins. Yes -- penguins.

"Fans -- they're so sweet," she says. "I guess the fact that I love penguins so much has just opened up this entire world of receiving penguins in so many different forms from them. So I have boxes of penguin stuff -- I keep it all. But I acquire more and more penguins on the tour, so the bus starts to overflow with penguin stuffed animals and penguin salt shakers and penguin pillows and penguin blankets and penguin shirts. It's the cutest thing ever."

That's in stark contrast to what Perri says is her "weirdest" concert experience -- before a boxing match in Europe.

"I played 'Jar of Hearts' at a [Vladimir] Klitschko fight in Germany and they lit my piano on fire," she explains. "And I was really confused, because 'Jar of Hearts' doesn't seem like a classic fight song. But it ended up being one of my favorite performances."

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