CD Review: Francesca Battistelli “Christmas”

Francesca Battistelli
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Tracks: 11
Label: Fervent Records

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Francesca Battistelli is one of the notable rising stars in music today. She only entered the spotlight in 2008 and has earned a Grammy nomination (Best Gospel Performance) and has over 700,000 in album sales to date. So what better than to make a Christmas album, since it is a gift that keeps on giving every years. This album is a real treat and is very simple yet powerful. Though this album is not the only album Francesca will be featured on this Fall, also including “A Very Special Christmas: Bringing Peace on Earth” and “A Very Special Christmas 25th Anniversary”. So be sure to support those albums as well. “Christmas” will definitely get you in the mood for the holiday season.

This 11-track album is produced by Ian Eskelin. It is a nice compilation of classics and some newly-penned Christmas songs. The traditional songs include: “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “Marshmallow World,” “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” “The Christmas Song,” “What Child Is This? (First Noel Prelude),” “Go Tell It On The Mountain,” and “Joy To The World.” Battistelli co-wrote all of the new songs as well such as: “Heaven Everywhere,” “Christmas Is,” “Christmas Dreams” and “You’re Here.” They are really nice songs and the fact that she included original songs sets this aside from other Holiday albums.

Battistelli said been quoted saying “Christmas is my favorite time of year”. I personally share the same feelings as well. You can tell that she is not just trying to sell her album, you can literally hear it throughout each song. The words are so pure and really filled with Christmas joy. Francesca is just getting started in this business and she is going to have a lot more coming up. But sticking with this album, I suggest grabbing some hot chocolate, grabbing a blanket and get ready to welcome in the holiday season.

Track Listing:
1. The Christmas Song
2. Heaven Everywhere
3. Christmas Is
4. What Child Is This? (First Noel Prelude)
5. Marshmallow World
6. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
7. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
8. You’re Here
9. Joy To The World
10. Christmas Dreams
11. Go Tell It On The Mountain

Interview with Francesca Zappitelli

Francesca Zappitelli has a very inspirational story to tell.  She started off as a female fighter and now she is focusing on filmmaking.  She is currently working on a documentary that she is start and producing in called “”Ballerina, I’m Not”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Francesca about her road to success and what was can expect from her documentary.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your transition from fighter to filmmaker?
Francesca Zappitelli: As a female fighter you are kind of a minority. Entering the fight world I realized I knew nothing about it but I found it fascinating. There was just so much to it. I had taken my fighting as far as I could take it but I wanted to show people that world.

MG: Tell us about “Ballerina, I’m Not” documentary?
FZ: The film showcases 3 different women. I am one of the women in the film. These women are not your typical fighters. I was so fascinated with all the different stories. I couldn’t believe how driven these women are. They all have that charisma to be different.

MG: What do you think was the hardest part in bringing this film together?
FZ: Film making is really difficult. Raising the financing is hard in today’s economy. There are so many moving parts and keeping synergy with all those parts is very hard. Managing all the people was pretty tough as well. It’s seems in Los Angeles everyone is late so we had that to deal with. It was difficult but I like a challenge. All the parts of the process were interesting.

MG: Do you feel like you have been the underdog?
FZ: Yes! I totally consider myself an underdog. I come from the middle of nowhere in Ontario, Canada. No one ever leaves that town. For me to leave and follow my dreams was its own accomplishment. I have had to fight for everything in my life. I have these big dreams where even if you were born into success you still have to compete to have your work seen in Hollywood. I am very inspired by this. Wrestling/fighting was the same way as it is such a male dominated sport.

MG: What have you enjoyed most about working on films compared to fighting?
FZ: I always will love fighting. I was into pro wrestling which there is a real art to. You have to look like you’re hurting partner without actually hurting them. It’s all choreographed. As I got into fighting more and really digging deep into it I realized I don’t like hurting people. I don’t have what it takes to be in the octagon. I just don’t like getting hit in the face. I like a challenge but to be a professional fighter is not my calling.

MG: Tell us also about your short movie that you just finished?
FZ: I love that little short. I actually call it “Frankie” as that’s my nick name. It’s like a “Rocky” story where a girl is down and has to fight for her dreams and to make everything happen. I think it’s a story everyone can relate to. I have it in a bunch of short film festivals right now and I can’t wait to get it out.