Wednesday, April 28, 2010


     Looking at, and listening to Francesca Battistelli's MY PAPER HEART-DELUXE EDITION (Fervent, 2010), it is hard to believe that Contemporary Christian music was once dominated by female vocalists old enough to be my mother or grandmother and would likely appeal to them more.  Names such as Evie, Sandi Patti, and Twila Paris will sound familiar to some of you.  Francesca brings a hip, contemporary, fashionable sound and look to the CCM genre, and the girl can sing, which doesn't hurt either.  In fact, she was this year's FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR at the Doves.  Style-wise, this album will appeal to fans of artists such as Natalie Grant and Miley Cyrus.

     There are several bouncy, upbeat numbers. 'Free to Be Me' is about discovering one's destiny: "Cause I got a couple dents in my fender/Got a couple rips in my jeans/Try to fit the pieces together/But perfection is my enemy/On my own I'm so clumsy/But on Your shoulders/I can see/I'm free to be me."  'Unpredictable' is about not putting God in a box and thinking we have Him and what He has in store for us, all figured out.  'It's Your Life' reminds us that it really does matter how we live as Christians: "It's your life/What you gonna do?/The world is watching you/Every day the choices you make/Say what you are and who your heart beats for/It's an open door/It's your life."  Balancing this out, is the ballad, 'Behind the Scenes' which features this confession: "Things aren't always what they seem/You're only seeing part of me/There's more than you could ever know/Behind the scenes/I'm incomplete and I'm undone." 

     Francesca shines on the simple, yet beautiful, worship track 'Forever Love', as well as on the soulful pop track 'Blue Sky'.  'Beautiful, Beautiful' is a good, powerful ballad in the vein of AVALON, about God seeing the best in us, and His ability to transform us.

     A couple of the weaker tracks in my estimation are, the title track, 'My Paper Heart', which has weak, cheesy lyrics, and, a somewhat lacking cover of Brooke Fraser's 'Lead me to the Cross'. 

     This deluxe edition includes bonus tracks from the Dented Fender Sessions.  A stripped down version of 'Free to Be Me' with a country feel to it, works well, while a piano based take on 'I'm Letting Go' doesn't work so well.

     Overall, I'm giving this project an 85 percent.  Visit for more info!