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Franny’s Very Best
Posted October 24, 2018
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer


What You Need to Know:
Since I first heard "Free to be Me" by Francesca Battistelli from My Paper Heart, I was hooked by the emotional and biblical messages of her songs. Four years after her top-selling album If We’re Honest, it’s exciting to hear new music from Francesca, though this album was preceded by "The Breakup Song" as a radio single. The musical vibe of that song sets the tone for this exceptional album, which is not be missed. Franny has once again captivated me as Own It features her unique brand of gourmet lyrical phrasing embedded with the truth of the Gospel for those "with ears to hear." The album showcases Franny's gifts as a songwriter and her shimmering, emotion-laden voice. She is a great role model for girls, and this album is loaded with positive, grace-filled messages of hope. Her songs address the pressures of life and she understands that her true happiness and identity only come from her relationship with God.
 
What it Sounds Like:
The Breakup Song” is an engaging track with Francesca’s passionate vocals setting the tone for this exceptional album. Several of Francesca’s songs over the years are accessible pop and worship songs while still deep in meaning and content, and this album is no exception. Many people can relate to the messages of these songs. The standouts include “The Very Best,” “Love Somebody,” “Royalty,” “This Could Change Everything,” “You Belong” and “Let The Light In.” I'm moved by the prayerful song "Defender," which features Bethel Music’s Steffany Gretzinger. The song proclaims my heart's cry to worship our Defender, Jesus. All of these songs and their dependence on God have perfectly poetic biblical descriptions of God and our identity in Him as His sons and daughters, which is what makes us “Royalty.” Francesca’s vocals are strong and pure from beginning to end. The production on these ultra-catchy pop songs could easily be featured in mainstream music alongside top-selling artists.
 
Spiritual Highlights:
Francesca has consistently impressed me with her mature faith and sincere desire to serve Jesus. You'll be blessed by these powerful songs which are all stand-out anthems with convicting declarations like "“Fear, you don’t own me!”  The message of “The Breakup Song” is based on several biblical truths, including 1 John 4:18-19: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us,” and 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” Whatever struggle or depression you are facing, you can know that God is with you, always. The comfort and rest offered by Jesus is beautifully captured in “You Belong.” Franny beautifully depicts the message of identity that we all need to hear, singing “Every single melody, making up a symphony, fearfully and wonderfully, making up a masterpiece.”
 
Best Song on the Record:
The Breakup Song” is best described as an upbeat, empowering anthem to sing over ourselves and against fear. Francesca sets the tone with the opening lyrics, “Sick and tired of being sick and tired / Had as much of you as I can take / I’m so done, so over being afraid.” Musically, the song builds to match the intensity of the lyrics, and if you like “Real Love” by Blanca, this song has a similar and striking message that stays with you throughout the day. The track is an excellent companion to sing over your life, “Fear, you will never be welcome here!” The exciting musical bed of “Love Somebody” takes me on an emotional journey that causes me to excitedly worship along with the stirring lyrics every time I hear it. In our society filled with war, bullying and a lack of care for others, this anthem is the cry of my heart with the much-needed call to action message for Christians: “When you really show them Jesus, it can change everything, everything, when you love somebody, a little bit of kindness goes a long way.” “Let the Light In” is another standout anthem, reminding us that “Heaven knows that we were never meant to be alone, broken hearts are a beautiful kaleidoscope…this is a song to remind me to let the light in.”  The message of finding “Freedom” in Christ is found in the closing track, which celebrates “You made me for freedom!

For Fans Of:
Blanca, Lauren Daigle, Riley Clemmons, Plumb, Mandisa, Jasmine Murray

Final Word:
I absolutely love Francesca's intentionality and complete focus on God's provision in her life. She is a uniquely gifted singer/songwriter with a big voice that is memorable and dynamic, yet intimate. These songs all have biblically-based lyrics that poignantly capture life's simple, yet vital messages. I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the prayerful lyrics found in these sacred songs. Francesca’s vocals will soothe your soul, and the vertical lyrics will direct your attention and focus to Jesus. There are several personal songs that melt my heart, especially “You Belong,” “Let the Light In,” “As Good As It Gets,” and “Defender.” If you like female singers that make you think while you enjoy their catchy and empowering songs, Own It is for you. I have three young daughters, and this is a solid upbeat pop album with positive biblical messages that is a great alternative to mainstream pop artists. This is easily my top pop album of the year, and Francesca’s “very best” overall album.

Buy it on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify.

View All Music And Book Reviews By KevinDavis_NRT | View KevinDavis_NRT's Profile

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