Personnel: Mike Haynes (trumpet); Tim Lauer (keyboards); Ben Phillips (drums); Steve Hindalong (percussion); Aaron Shannon (programming).
Audio Mixer: Jr McNeely.
Recording information: Doppler Studios, Atlanta, GA; Quad Studios, Nashville, TN; Stereophonic, Nashville, TN; The Holiday Ian, Franklin, TN; The Rockporium, Canton, GA.
Photographer: Kristin Barlowe.
Building off the secular/sacred mix that made her 2008 debut, My Paper Heart, a crossover hit, Francesca Battistelli keeps things bright and breezy on Hundred More Years. The sophomore album opens with the summery twang of a ukulele and ends with arpeggiated guitar chords, covering all the necessary CCM bases in the interim. Battistelli is like a churchgoing Sara Bareilles or a female Dave Barnes, with an arsenal of hook-filled piano ballads and a voice that blazes a neutral path between country and Top 40 pop. Barnes makes a guest appearance on the album's best song, "Emily (It's Love)," and his influence is felt in the way Battistelli balances her faith-based songs with more straightforward tunes. Her main goal seems to be making music, not converting her listeners, and Hundred More Years puts forth some strong Christian ideals without condemning any listeners who might not share the same beliefs. ~ Andrew Leahey