Francesca Battistelli [Hundred More Years Deluxe Edition] | Posted February 28, 2013 Staff Reviewer
RIAA Certified Gold selling, GMA Dove Awards "Artist of the Year" and "Female Vocalist of the Year," Francesca Battistelli, returns to release an expanded deluxe edition of her critically acclaimed album Hundred More Years. The Deluxe album features the hit singles "This Is The Stuff" and "Angel By Your Side." This 18 track expanded album includes the original track listing, plus several never-before-released songs including the original demo of "This Is The Stuff" and an incredible re-make of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes." Don’t miss new song "Strangely Dim" which is based on the hymn of the faith "Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus." It has a perfectly poetic biblical description of God and is filled with piercingly difficult Truths to believe all of the time. When you put yourself under a microscope and examine whether you really believe all of the words of this great song, you'll find that it will challenge your faith and how closely you are walking with God. This song also gives insight into Francesca's walk as a fellow believer. It's very relatable to listeners, especially for those who struggle with control issues and perfectionism. We are called as Christians to believe in the freedom that we have in the Cross of Jesus. We are free from our fears, addictions, insecurities and perfectionism. Jesus came to die for us so that we can all truly live in Him.
Battistelli’s signature style is best found in both versions of “This Is The Stuff.” In the song 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. 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.”
Both versions of “Angel By Your Side” are “beautiful, beautiful” and the song is a standout ballad. The original has a catchy guitar part and the “unplugged” version features Francesca’s gorgeous vocals with piano and strings. “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.
“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. 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. New recordings “Hold Out For Love,” “Something More” and “Trampoline” are all great songs. The balance of upbeat songs and ballads is another highlight as the songs flow perfectly together to create a unique musical experience.
I'm convinced Hundred More Years Deluxe Edition is easily the best album by a female artist I've heard in the Christian and mainstream music market since GRAMMY award winning 21 by Adele. 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.