Christina Perri made her debut with “Jar of Hearts,” a swooning piano ballad that wound its way onto So You Think You Can Dance (and subsequently the Billboard charts, where it peaked at number 34) during the summer of 2010. Released several months later, this EP serves as her first proper release for Atlantic Records, who signed her in the wake of the single’s unexpected success. “Jar of Hearts” may be a dead ringer for Beyoncé’s “Halo,” right down to the identical chords in the chorus, but the rest of The Ocean Way Sessions is more original, with a smoky, pop-based sound that recalls a saucier Sara Bareilles or a more metropolitan Brandi Carlile. All five songs are performed live at Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles, with “Jar of Hearts” receiving the solo treatment and the remaining tunes being fleshed out by a full band. With her rebel-chic tattoos and swaggering voice, Perri certainly plays the part of a pop star, and new songs like “Black + Blue” indicate that “Jar of Hearts” wasn’t necessarily a fluke success.
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