I get a little tired of hearing the Christian Britney wannabes on the radio, because so many of them have that bubble-gum pop voice that was perfected by Disney and other teen pop producers, and now it dominates the young female end of the Christian contemporary music (CCM) perspective. So it's refreshing and downright pleasant to hear a voice like Francesca Battistelli's that isn't over-dubbed, that is so natural and gutsy and heartfelt that you just want to listen over and over again. Add to that Miss Battistelli's wonderful song-writing (she wrote or co-wrote every song on the album), and you've got the makings of a true sensation.
Honestly, I got hooked when I first heard "I'm Letting Go" on AirOne a few months ago, and I searched out her web site and found out when the album was coming out. Having listened to the album several times through now, I believe that that song wasn't the strongest entry. I think "Unpredictable" is a stronger entry for the CCM scene, while "Beautiful, Beautiful" will be a long-player on the CCM top 40 once it gets released as a single. "My Paper Heart" reveals a vulnerability that is usually only simulated in the regular pop music world. "Blue Sky" has a funky soul feel to it, and it really demonstrates her vocal range and the versatility of her vocal tone. My only lament for this album is that the softer Christian stations may not pick up on Miss Battistelli because she is a bit more rock and soul than soft-rock. Her song-writing ought to get some attention, however, because she doesn't just keep repeating the same worn-out praises that litter so many CCM albums.
This album ought to be a top seller pretty soon. So why only 4 stars? With this young lady's amazing voice, I would have liked a nice stripped-down ballad that was more acoustic and less electric.
Bravo, Francesca! I pray you'll stick with the same faith and music for many years to come.