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Francesca Battistelli [Hundred More Years]
Posted February 28, 2011
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer


Christian music artist Francesca Battistelli has had a fun, fast paced ride on life's roller coaster the last few years. Her debut music album, My Paper Heart was a major hit.She was awarded the 2010 GMA Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year.  She's got married and this past September gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Matthew Elijah Goodwin. She's on top of the world and is ready for a second album entitled, Hundred More Years. The first single from this album, “This Is The Stuff,” was released to Christian radio in January. In traditional Francesca Battistelli style, she tells it just how it is and all the things that drive her crazy. The main message of the song, despite all the little things that drive us all crazy, is to remember we are blessed.  Francesca writes and sings about relatable subjects and her lyrics and melodies are completely infectious. Right from the opening notes, I knew I was in for a treat and musically this album is completely brilliant. The mandolin part reminds me of “Hey Soul Sister” by Train and “The Outsiders” by NEEDTOBREATHE. The bridge of “This Is The Stuff” also summarizes my prayer as a Christian: “To break me of impatience, Conquer my frustrations, I've got a new appreciation, It's not the end of the world...” Amen. “Constant” and “You Never Are” are also catchy pop songs. Every song includes at least one lyrical phrase that completely hits me where I am. “Constant” is about God’s love and Francesca sings “Okay I really don't like change but I can't stop it, I'm moving forward with the promise, You are the anchor for my soul, That's all I need to know.”
 
“Angel By Your Side” is a ‘beautiful, beautiful’ ballad with a catchy guitar part and features Francesca’s gorgeous vocals. The balance of upbeat songs and ballads is another highlight as the songs flow perfectly together to create one of those unique musical experiences that makes this a stellar album. “Motion Of Mercy” grabs me with Francesca’s sincere prayer, “God give me strength to give something for nothing, I wanna be a glimpse of the Kingdom that's coming soon.” “Emily (It’s Love)” features Dave Barnes and is destined to be a hit song, perhaps on mainstream radio. One argument Christians may make about this album is that the lyrics may in fact be too relatable to listeners. That would be a shame, as I was saved due to being hooked by the cross-over success of Jars of Clay’s debut album, which introduced me to the Gospel for which I’m eternally grateful.  Francesca has that “it” factor that could draw literally millions of listeners to hear the Gospel truths of her music such as in the next song “Good To Know” where there is no mistaking whose love Francesca is singing about in the lyrics, “It's good to know, It's good to feel the arms of grace, To know that my mistakes are covered by Your love.” “So Long” has mainstream appeal as well, and I could imagine hearing the song in a movie soundtrack.
 
The last three songs are a little more like Francesca’s impressive debut album as “Don’t Miss It” has that driving rock beat and seize the day theme similar to “It’s Your Life.” The last two songs are my favorite songs on the album, “Worth It” is a gorgeous ballad and love song with biblical truth paraphrased from 1st Corinthians 13, “Love takes sacrifice, Love cuts like a knife, Sometimes love will make you cry, Love's not easy, But it's worth it.” Similar to “Someday Soon” and “Forever Love,” this could be a wedding song for believers making a marriage commitment. Having been married for 16 years with 3 young daughters, the song moves me to tears along with the amazing title track “Hundred More Years.” The song is about finding that person that you want to spend the rest of your life with and falling in love. The song is about great moments in life and wanting them to last a hundred more years. I get goose bumps and well up when Francesca passionately sings the beautiful lyrics, “they can laugh, they can cry, the future looks so beautiful and bright, they can dance in the moonlight, cause God is smiling down on them tonight, and He wants to stay right here, make it last for a hundred more years.” God wants to bless His children and this song completely blesses me. Thank you Francesca for making one of the best albums I’ve ever heard.

CLOSING THOUGHTS
I'm convinced Hundred More Years is easily the best album by a female artist I've heard in the Christian and mainstream music market since GRAMMY award winning 19 by Adele. Reigning female vocalist of the year Francesca Battistelli has hit on all cylinders with this stellar pop music album. Every song is a perfect blend of compelling vocals, musical excellence and lyrical relevance. There are no filler songs and this album gets 5 very enthusiastic stars! This album is a "must-have" for fans of Colbie Caillat, Sara Bareilles and Adele.

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