Back in Time is just a few months old, released in July 2022 on Christina Perri’s A Lighter Shade of Blue. I am so enamoured and by golly, did it ‘hit me for six’ upon first listen. Back in Time is one of the few songs which I hear for the first time and then set on repeat for half an hour because I like it more each subsequent listen and eventually send it to all and sundry. Argentinian Nathy Peluso’s ‘Nasty Girl‘ which is rap had the same effect on me recently.
Perri gives a master-class lesson on how to deliver a ballad in the first verse. I mean that quite technically. Her intonations, pauses and animated texture of voice is the stuff that only the best know how to do. How she pauses and sings ‘Ok‘ is really cool and instantly induces a smile and then when she sings, ‘I’m not sayin’ things were better then, But I wish I could see you smile at me again‘ makes the hair on my arms stand up on end. The melodic sequence, lyrics and her voice put me into a space which makes me gasp with appreciation and emotion.
If I had a time machine
That went right back to you and me
For a minute
I wouldn’t get in it
Okay, maybe I would climb inside
Press some buttons and turn the dial
To that summer
Where my heart felt younger
I’m not sayin’ things were better then
But I wish I could see you smile at me again
Pennsylvania-born singer-songwriter Christina Perri had a breakthrough hit in 2010 with her debut single ‘Jar of Hearts’ which is one of my favourite post 2000’s ballads and will feature here shortly. Words will be hard to summon when I have to write about that song, that’s for sure. Jar of Hearts was a hit across the globe, and it launched Perri’s debut album ‘Lovestrong’.
Back in Time is the second song to feature here from Perri. I wrote in my first article – Human, ‘Christina is just a wonderful talent and I’ve seen her ‘music’ in live videos, and she definitely replicates and at time supersedes her studio output‘. See her in Brazil singing Human. Ben Rector features on Back in Time where he and Perri reflect back on how you can’t turn back the clock. This is definitely one of those songs where the verses surpass everything else. I wish it focused more on what Perri did in the first verse and followed that for the remainder, because that is some sublime music right there.
Perri is such a gifted artist and since 2020 she has concentrated on processing her grief through her music. On November 10, 2020, Perri said she was experiencing pregnancy complications, and two weeks later, Perri said that her daughter, Rosie, was stillborn, stating: “She is at peace now and will live forever in our hearts.”