'Lessons From Life and Love' is the title of Kimia Penton's very recently released EP. Penton, who trained as a classical violinist and is a shrink in the metropolis of Dallas, is usually presented as a pop/jazz artist. And essentially, that's correct. However, there is a strong country theme running through her musical style.
As the title suggests, 'Lessons From Life and Love' contains songs about the various faces of love: unconditional love, the agape love of the Bible; love lost, love rekindled and even unrequited love. Many people, when they hear songs described as "love songs," shrug their shoulders, expecting to be bored by syrupy drivel. The fact is more than 70% of all songs, regardless of genre, are about love. And since Penton is a shrink in her day job, she is well-qualified to sing about the topic.
The EP has six tracks. First up is 'Pieces', a pop-fusion tune that opens with a mystical violin, and then drops into an upbeat jazz-pop rhythm. A vivid, slightly sultry melody shimmers with personality. The only drawback is that Penton's voice, in spite of being rich and clear, doesn't fit the song. Probably because her voice works better pitched higher, including lots of adenoids.
'My Kind of Love' is a country-pop flavored tune that provides more room for Penton's voice, with its hints of Patsy Cline. For one or two brief moments Penton's phrasing is brittle, but for the most part she does a great job. Her efforts are made easier by a persuasive melody and excellent harmonies. The violin solo is atypical for this type of music, but it is graceful and adds a nice touch.
The most enjoyable track is 'Start Again' another country-pop tune that resembles Taylor Swift prior to her jump into pop music. Penton's adenoidal tones provide just the right amount of pizzazz and casual elegance to an ingenious melody. There's a potent organic ingredient to 'Start Again' that makes it perfect for radio. Put simply, it's one of those songs that hit the musical bull's eye.
The EP's lyrics, while not exceptional, flow well and speak to the heart. Penton eschews florid hyperbole as she croons about the miracle of love and its vast, primitive power to inflate and deflate the human soul.
'Lessons From Life and Love' is neither mechanical nor predictable. Although not flawless, the EP is both charming and enchanting. Penton's talent displays much promise. 'Lessons From Life and Love' recommends itself to the attention of most listeners.
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