Francesca Battistelli is no stranger to the stage. Having been raised by parents immersed in the arts and Broadway, she developed a love of music, theater, and performance at a young age. But instead of using these talents for applause and accolades, Francesca prefers to point people much beyond herself - towards hope. Her soulful piano-pop sound resembles a blend of her music interests- jazz, rock, gospel and R&B woven beautifully together with themes of trust and risk taking. Includes the smash single "I'm Letting Go" and the #1 hit "Free to Be Me".
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Free To Be Me
I'm Letting Go
My Paper Heart
Behind The Scenes
It's Your Life
Time In Between
Keeping Me Guessing (Acoustic) [iTunes Bonus Track]
Solid debut for singer-songwriter| Posted October 22, 2008 Francesca Battistelli had aspirations of being a Broadway singer and has parents in the music business. That music background and aspiration is apparent in this solid debut for singer-songwriter Francesca Battistelli. The debut single I'm Letting Go is so catchy you can't help but sing along and admire the great melody and music. The best comparison I can think of is Love Song by pop singer Sara Bareilles and her musical and singing style also reminds me of Natasha Bedingfield and Leona Lewis.
My Paper Heart is more than just the great song I'm Letting Go. In particular I really enjoy the opening track Free To Be Me a nice upbeat anthem that girls can relate to and find motivating. Another anthem is the Revolve Tour song It's Your Life which is another highlight. For me the two songs that really demonstrate Francesca's potential and great singing voice are My Paper Heart which has such a great transparency and maturity for such a young singer and my favorite overall song is Beautiful, Beautiful which really sounds like a Broadway show-stopper with these great lyrics: "Now there?s a joy inside I can?t contain, But even perfect days can end in rain, And though it?s pouring down, I see You through the clouds, Shining on my face". I'm really impressed by this solid debut and look forward to more by Francesca Battistelli.
A good start but look for the “time in between” albums| Posted July 30, 2008
New artist Francesca Battistelli already is starting off nicely. Her First single “letting go” already broke into the top five songs in Christian music and her debut, My Paper Heart, is already turning some heads to this talented songwriter.
Francesca Battistelli is already being accepted by Christian music audiences with her upbeat pop and her piano driven light rock songs. Her uncommon voice will probably distance some people would normally enjoy her style of music as her voice sounds rough in places and at times they are reminiscent of Sarah Kelly. The piano plays a prominent role in the pop rock single “letting go” which has an upbeat tune and some great hooks, but overall it’s nothing spectacular. Her music songs more sophisticated which drifts past regular pop rock to avoid being put into the same genre as Krystal Meyers, and Barlow Girl.
Songs like “free to be me” are not complex but it has a nice beat, and the chorus flows nicely. “Blue sky” has a very retro, very dated sound, which is evocative to ‘80s Christian pop, where the quality was about as good as the Expos. Songs like that and the overly repetitive “forever love” really are not very impressive, but kudos to Francesca Battistelli for making a average song like “someday soon” into more enjoyable tunes with the simple addition of the background piano. Hints of twang are around in the ballad “behind the scenes” among a simple track.
While not fitting in with her peers in music department her lyrics follow a trend of feel-good emotional simple lyrics. Athough Francesca Battistelli celebrates originality of one’s self in Christ (‘But on Your shoulders I can see/I'm free to be me’), discuses depending on God (“letting Go”), and praising God (With everything inside I’ll run to You/‘Cause all that I’ve become I owe to You’ “forever love”) her lyrics are more milk than meat. And while her meaning in “unpredictable” is easily taken (‘Can't put You in a box/Can't keep You safely contained/You're gonna move the way’) but her key phrase ‘unpredictable’ doesn’t line up with Hebrews 13:8.
Think Addison Road when it comes to the lyrics and the music—but without the energy. But to replace that, Francesca Battistelli has passion. With “I’m letting go” being her most ambitious song, it doesn’t make My Paper Heart one of the top albums of the year.
Top 10 Release Of 2008| Posted December 16, 2008
There were many female artists that released new and debut music this year including Superchick, Fireflight, BarlowGirl, Brooke Barrettsmith, Joy Whitlock, Worth Dying For and a few others. None impressed me more than the debut from newcomer Francesca Battistelli.
Bypassing the typical teen-angst that fills so many releases from younger artists, Francesca has filled her album with bright colors, joyful messages and positive outlooks. It’s a welcome change and you can feel the smiles come across in songs like “Beautiful, Beautiful,” “I’m Letting Go” and the title track. Inspired by everyone from the jazz greats her dad introduced her to as a kid, to contemporaries like John Mayer, Sara Bareilles and Nichole Nordeman, Francesca provides a hopeful debut that should continue into an encouraging musical career.
Francesca Batttistelli [My Paper Heart]| Posted October 07, 2008 [MAIN REVIEW]
Sounds like: Natasha Bedingfield and Kelly Clarkson with a hint of a country twang in a few of the songs.
Francesca Battistelli, a new artist to the Christian scene, is about to release her first album, “My Paper Heart.” The title really fits the CD; her music shares much of who she is with her audience, connecting with listeners in an intimate way.
Since Francesca is a new artist, let’s take a moment to get to know her and where she comes from. According to a press release, Francesca’s musical talent started at a young age, and came naturally as both her parents were active in music and the arts. Her mother and father were both involved in Broadway. At 15, she joined an all-girl pop group, honing her musical and dance talent. She discovered her passion for Christian music when she was involved in her youth ministry at church, and quickly dedicated her gifts to God.
“My Paper Heart” starts out with a song called “Free to be me.” It’s about the twists and turns in life, and how God can see what’s coming and has plans for our future. “At twenty years of age I'm still looking for a dream / A war's already waged for my destiny / But You've already won the battle / And You've got great plans for me…” The second track, “I’m letting go,” is similar in its theme, about God being in control of our destinies, letting go and not being afraid. When we give up our lives for God, we will truly experience freedom.
The title track, “My Paper Heart,” has kind of a pop jazz sound, and starts out with a good illustration for how fragile our hearts are. “Well I’ve been treated like a valentine / That’s been ripped apart and left behind…/ My paper heart is Yours now / I have landed in Your hands / Come so far to find out / My life will never be the same / Since you wrote your name / On my paper heart.” Francesca is really speaking scripture in this song. Proverbs 3:3 says, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Our hearts are tables, blank pieces of paper for God to write on with His love.
“Forever Love” is a beautiful worship song that could be sung during any church worship service. It is about God knowing and loving us, and loving Him in return from the depths of our hearts. He is our forever love, unchanging and always forgiving. The next track, “Someday Soon,” will most certainly be played at my wedding. The entire song is a ballad written to the husband she is waiting for, and the great love and life she can not wait to share with him. “I wanna be the one who does everything with you / Watching stars, washing cars, taking walks, going to the store / I wanna be the one who gets to change her last name someday… And I can’t imagine anything, anything better than /
Someday falling in love with you / Holding your hand / Making our plans all come true…”
“It’s your life” is about making wise decisions, and doing what you know is right even though the world is watching. The song says that your life may be the one thing that moves another person closer or further from God. So don’t forget that “It’s your life / The world is watching you / Every day the choices you make / Say what you are and who / Your heart beats for…” We are called to be living witnesses for Christ, and this song is a reminder of that calling. The last song, “Time in Between,” is a picture of Christ’s life and death put to music. Jesus was there in the beginning of time, spend nine months in his mother’s womb, then three days dead in a tomb before rising again. However, out of all that, the part that makes the biggest difference in our lives is “The time in between / That brings me to my knees / Knowing you came for me… / Don't take much for this crazy world / To rob me of my peace… / So I stand here lifting empty hands / For you to fill me up again.”
In a press release, Battistelli said, “Ultimately, I want to be an encouragement as an artist and a fellow believer. The Lord has continually called me to do things that are outside my comfort zone, whether it was accompanying myself on guitar for the first time in front of seasoned players or packing up and moving to Nashville last year knowing hardly anybody. Still, He's never left me, and He constantly shows me that it's worth it. I have parents who pray and encourage me to be bold and to take bold steps for Christ. I don’t think that’s common enough in the Christian culture. We have these big dreams, but many aren’t willing to take the steps to go after them. Yet this is the moment. We’re not promised tomorrow. So today’s the day.”
Welcome to the Christian music scene, Francesca!
You can catch Francesca’s blog on her website: http://www.francescamusic.com/. She updates it often, which further serves to connect her with her audience. Over-all, Francesca is a great new artist, and I’m expecting to see some creative work from her in the future.
TERRIFIC, SMART POP DEBUT| Posted September 29, 2008
I assume there was a bidding war. And I assume that many were disappointed when Fervent Records was left holding the trophy at stake—a contract with Ms. Francesca Battistelli. The reason for the (assumed) number of suitors? This album is a radio pop goldmine waiting to happen.
My Paper Heart is stunning in its smarts—perfectly crafted for Christian radio with no weak moments from beginning (the charming “Free To Be Me”) to end (the consummate pop ballad “Time in Between”). Even the sequencing, production and vocal work all shine with Battistelli’s perfect smile poised to win over fans young and old.
The title track is a bouncy piano effort on which she sings, “My paper heart is Yours now/I am learning in Your hands.” That same spiritual submissiveness is found on several tracks—a young artist in awe of a God so grand. “Beautiful, Beautiful” and “Forever Love” continue in this vein, the latter a simple, vertical love song.
It doesn’t matter what is thrown at her, Battistelli handles it all with the ease of an industry veteran, which leads one to believe she’s at least surrounded by them. After all, there’s no way a 22-year-old should sound this good whether singing girl-pop, radio rock anthems or AC ballads. Track after track seems destined for Top 10 status in several genres, making you realize you might as well start practicing how to properly spell her name. –Matt Conner
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from CCMMagazine.com. Click here to visit CCMMagazine.com today!
Wow!| Posted September 14, 2008
I was curious about this album, so I listened to it and found that I love her music! I decided to buy the album and I'm glad I did :) Her style is different but I really like it a lot. She's a great artist with great songs!! Here's my favorite songs: "Beautiful, Beautiful", "It's Your Life", "Behind the Scenes", "Someday Soon" (such a cute song), and "Free to Be Me". Go buy her album!
My Paper Heart| Posted September 12, 2008
Francesca is one among many musical Battistellis. Her family was heavily involved in the arts and Broadway growing up, which likely influenced her soulful, inspired and honest vocals. Battistelli's musical lineage is deeply rooted in jazz and R&B, which is blaringly clear on songs like "Unpredictable," where her syncopation nears perfection. She gravitates toward that jazzy, push-and-pull vocal styling throughout My Paper Heart, and it works. Songs like "I'm Letting Go" channel the piano-stomping Sarah Bareilles (catchy chorus and all), and her voice reaches sweeping heights on "Beautiful, Beautiful."
My Paper Heart touches on clearly universal themes of trust and venturing into the unknown, but Battistelli takes each song by the reigns, making them both intimate and relatable. Her weathered vocals convey the heartbreak and resilience she sings of on the title track. She sings with a passion well beyond her years, and it's clear that she'll be singing strong for years to come. Truly an excellent release.
Good Debut- But Overly Repetitive| Posted July 16, 2008
With happy-go-lucky tunes, impressive vocals, Francesca Battistelli creates for herself a masterpiece! Although I’m not a big fan of new, young female vocalists, I found myself immediately attracted to Francesca’s music and powerful voice! Here is my review:
Francesca has a very unusual voice, but it seems a bit husky and almost straining at times.(I may be wrong though.) Her music definitely has a different sound, although you may get a bit tired of it since it has on every single song, almost, a grand piano starting off the song or thrown in somewhere. The first few songs are very different but then the entire album starts to sound bland, and starts to sound the same on about the 5th song or so. And while she seems to be pointing to God in a lot of her songs, she never directly comes out with Who she’s talking about on the majority of her songs. (That's all the bad.)
Francesca definitely has a refreshing sound. Very different sounding! A lot of recording artists seem to take on a lot of minor chords, while she takes on a happy, jumpy sound. Her music is lots deeper than a lot of artists her age, or ANY debut artist almost! She just has a way of drawing you in with her smile and catchy beats and music! The lyrics are so relevant to your life! Very good for a debut album!
REVIEW OF THE SONGS
"Free to be Me" is a song about even though we have many flaws, with God we are free to be ourselves. God accepts us just as we are! The lyrics are so refreshing and different comparing ourselves to different things in life that are so relevant! “Like dents in my fender” or “a couple rips in my jeans”. Very different from any lyrics from a debut artist!
“Got a few dents in my fender. Got a couple rips in my jeans. Tried to fit the pieces together, but perfection is my enemy. And on my own I’m so clumsy, but on Your shoulders I can see, I’m free to be me!”
"Letting Go" is a song about how even though we've planned out our lives, and dreams, we need to take the plunge and completely let go of everything to God. All our fears, failures, and dreams completely “letting go” to Him!
"Beautiful, Beautiful" is about God's unending mercy and grace and even on the dark days He shines out above everything else! Very beautiful song! This song immediately drew me into it! I was sitting here listening to it in awe and amazement just worshiping God! His unending mercy and grace is always reaching down to save me! I can’t explain what I felt when I heard this song! Overwhelmed might be a close word to what I felt.
“Like sunlight burning at midnight, making my life so beautiful, beautiful. Mercy reaching to save me, all that I need, You’re so beautiful, beautiful.”
"Unpredictable"- A song about that we need to completely trust God, and His unpredictability. How we so need to trust in the Unknown and just trust that God has it all planned for us even though we don’t know what lies ahead, we need to just trust God with our lives. It’s not the best song off the album, although it does have a good message.
"My Paper Heart"- Listening to it right now! The first song she mentions the name of God directly in! Talking about how people have torn apart her life, but now that her "paper heart" is now God's, He’s given her love beyond what she could possible think of! Although the world tears up our “paper heart’s” God can tape all the pieces back together again! This song almost has an almost video game sound…almost. The sound isn’t very pleasing to the ears, although the message is.
“Blue Sky” has a very good message, but gets lost into the song. The song gets boring after a little while of listening to it. This song talks about how God will be there and even on our bad days He’ll be a rainbow and shine and be “your blue sky” when the rain is falling and “there’s no silver lining”. His love will be here to stay through everything!
“Forever Love”- A very beautiful worship song! The chorus is a bit repetitive, however, the words are so meaningful! A must listen to off the album! Although it has a little piano in it, the strings, drums, and bass make up for an entirely beautiful masterpiece! A true worship experience! Overlook how the song starts and get into it, and it will be somewhat worth it.
I know I didn’t cover all the songs, but after listening to the songs listed above, I think I have a pretty good idea what the other 2-3 songs will sound like that I didn’t listen to. Although this album is done exceptionally well for a debut artist, if Francesca’s sophomore release has this same repetition and sound from this project I’m afraid she won’t be going anywhere in music. I would recommend this project to anyone wanting a new, fresh sound! “My Paper Heart” by Francesca Battistelli gives the listeners something to think about! A lot of the tunes get stuck in your brain! I’ve run around the house and yard just singing the same words “Got a couple dents in my fender. Got a few rips in my jeans.” over and over again today! An album worth buying!
Great| Posted June 04, 2012
I really enjoy this album. Francesca Batistelli is such a talented singer. Her songs are so beautiful and inspirering. I love "Free to Be Me", "My Paper Heart," " Blue Sky", and "The Time Inbetween." Basically I love all of these songs/
This is the debut album from Francesca Battistelli , who is a fairly new artist in the Christian music industry. This album released in 2008 and she brings a lively female voice to female Christian singers. This album has more of a Christian pop feel to it however to better describe it , it is not merely pop but more acoustic pop. My favorite song off the album is " Free To Be Me" because it expresses us Christians as broken and questioning whether God will accept us the way we are. In other words, we don't have to change ourselves or our path of life. We must let God fix us and not rely on ourselves to fix our own problems alone. Then the next song that has a similar message is " Unpredictable" saying that we cannot live this life alone. We don't know much about God when we first come to know him and accept him as our savior. Francesca describes that she knows that God has a path for all of us and we never know what God will do day-to-day. " My Paper Heart" describes how we must leave our past and put full trust in God's love. It lets us know that we cannot fall back on our old ways and previous life when we are born again.
This is my interpretation regarding some of the songs on this album. It is just a relaxing album and she has a good voice and personality when she sings. Overall its a solid album but not my favorite female Christian album out of my collection.