Fans of singer/songwriter Christina Perri’s heartbroken, vindictive “Jar of Hearts” might see the title for its follow-up, “Arms,” and attempt to mentally place it in a melodramatic lyrical context. “Why can’t you remove your arms from around my neck / Because you’re strangling me in this relationship,” perhaps. Or “These arms of mine aren’t strong enough / To carry us both through this mess any longer.” Or even “Bruises and scars all up my arms / From where you’ve cut me with your lies.” Mais non–this time, Perri’s in it for love, and the central lyrical conceit is the surprisingly gentle “You put your arms around me and I’m home.” That’s much nicer, Christina, isn’t it?
The song sounds like it could go either way at first, with a melancholy, plucked guitar hook introducing the eternally dolorous-sounding Perri: “I never thought that you would be the one to hold my heart.” But by the chorus, it certainly seems that Perri is significantly sunnier in her disposition; this suspicion is confirmed by the song’s surprising (but not unwelcome) decision to launch into double time about two minutes in, taking it from “Need You Now” torch song territory to something closer to Snow Patrol anthem range.
“I hope that you see right through my walls / I hope that you catch me, ‘coz I’m already falling,” sings a hardened-but-no-longer-embittered Perri. As when after Beyoncé finally fell “Crazy in Love” after half a decade of bug-a-boos and guys who couldn’t pay her automo-bills, it just means more coming from some singers than others.