Artist Info:Discography Album length: 11 tracks: 38 minutes, 2 seconds Street Date: July 22, 2008
20-year-old Francesca Battistelli is the newest addition to Fervent Records's diverse roster of artists.
With an evident passion for songwriting, My Paper Heart really shows the feelings and emotions of Miss Battistelli.
The lyrics conveyed on the album avoid the typical "Christian clichés" that have marred so many recent CCM albums. Her piano-pop
sound could be compared to the likes of Nichole Nordeman or Sara Groves, but Francesca's music is significantly more light and upbeat
than either. In the secular department, however, Francesca has a sound very similar to that of Sara Bareilles. For example,
the bouncy, catchy first single, "I'm Letting Go," has a rhythm pattern almost exactly like Bareilles's hit, "Love Song."
The album's opener, "Free To Be Me," is an upbeat, "He loves you just the way you are" style song, with a chorus declaring,
"I've got a couple dents in my fender/ Got a couple rips in my jeans…Perfection is my enemy/ On my own I'm so clumsy/ But on Your
shoulders I can see/ I'm free to be me…" The funky, organ-driven title track (think NewWorldSon), has a similar message, and
serves as a 3-and-a-half minute autobiography for Francesca. Her soothing, raspy vocals get a real chance to shine on ballads like
the powerful "Beautiful, Beautiful," and the heartfelt "Behind The Scenes." Francesca does black gospel with ease in the jazzy,
churchy "Blue Sky" as well.
However, towards the middle of the album, some of the songs start to run together, and the distinct sound established in the
beginning doesn't sound so original anymore. For example, "Forever Love," begins as a soft, piano-laden song, but never gains
momentum, and its overly repetitive chorus doesn't help either.
Francesca Battistelli's debut is unique with its organic, piano-fused pop sound through the majority. The album's highlights
leave a lasting impression on the listener, but there are some moments where a few songs are only average. Overall, the good
outweighs the bad and Francesca is one who is here to stay. Let's just hope she has a bit more diversity in her next effort.
- Review date: 7/5/08, written by Matthew Watson
JFH Staff's Second Opinion
With a name as unique and beautiful as hers, someone like Francesca Battistelli is difficult to forget.
Her music and voice are equally memorable. Francesca's first single, "I'm Letting Go," from her debut record My Paper Heart
has been making a strong impression on the airwaves. My Paper Heart is brilliantly full of potential hit singles and excellent live show material.
Produced by Ian Eskelin, Battistelli's record addresses themes of surrender, honesty, vulnerability, and self-acceptance.
This young singer/songwriter reaches out with her smooth piano-pop style, which is much more adult contemporary oriented than
sugar-coated bubble gum teenage pop. "Time In Between" and "Forever Love" are gorgeous, heartfelt ballads that are strong
standout tracks showcasing Battistelli's strong vocal talent. "Beautiful, Beautiful" is a personal favorite continuing in the
same vein. Most of the album is much more upbeat with a slight rock flair, as noticed in "Unpredictable," "It's Your Life" and
"Free to Be Me."
Francesca Battistelli comes from an impressive theater and performance background, and her skills are demonstrated here as a
promising up-and-coming young artist. Keep your eyes and ears on this young lady, because she is definitely here to stay!
- Lauren Summerford of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Fervent Records
Album length: 11 tracks: 38 minutes, 2 seconds
Street Date: July 22, 2008
Buy It:Amazon.com Buy It:Amazon.com (Deluxe Edition)