Dallas-based musician turned psychologist Kimia Penton is renowned for her thought-provoking performance style and heartfelt lyricism. The violist and singer injects pure emotion and a simple depth to her work, engaging listeners and teaching them lessons at the same time.
This is increasingly evident on Penton's latest release, Lessons from Life and Love, on which she imparts quite a few lessons from the perspective of someone who has an important story to tell. The carefully curated selection moves and embraces listeners with its enchanting melodies.
Kimia Penton kicks off the Lessons from Life and Love by laying her heart to bare on "My Kind of Love." "Don't you ever question if my heart beats only for you," the musician sings, before promising her loved one that she'll be there for him no matter what. There is a heartfelt intimacy to Penton's vocal performance, as her voice resonates with intimacy and true warmth. A haunting violin fills in the production and rounds out the gorgeous track as the musician teaches others to love with all of their heart.
"The Door" strips back some of the instrumentation to set the scene for a more acoustic soundscape. The simplicity brings the full focus to Penton's vocals and the track's beautiful lyrics about a loved one who helped Kimia Penton rise above bitterness and cruelty around her. "In a moment all my walls came down / I was stripped of all my pains and doubts," she tells her lover. Major aww factor aside, it is a beautiful and simple testament to the power of love, which helps you rise above anything ahead of you.
A gorgeous violin section weeps across the soundscape and serves as an introduction to Kimia Penton's "Pieces." The string-led production sets a striding pace for the musician to sing about a lover who tore her apart. Even though she's been broken by the loved one, there is a sense of strength to the track. The live instrumentation keeps things light and Penton's vocals are those of someone strong enough to pick herself up from the ashes of the burnt-out relationship.
"Crossroads" serves as the perfect followup to "Pieces," as Penton finds herself at major turning point with a lover. On the track, she sings that she has done all she can to convince her lover that she loves him, but nothing seems to convince him. After giving the relationship her all, Penton realizes that they may not be compatible for the future. The lyrics detail an internal battle within the musician, as she struggles to determine the best path to take before ultimately deciding to move on and leave the relationship in the past. "Part of me will always be with you," she proclaims in the song's final moments, displaying the reality of love. We may part ways, but we always leave a mark.
After leaving her lover, Kimia Penton realizes that she made a mistake and asks to take it all back on the hopeful "Start Again." The track features another delicate and thoughtful instrumentation, as the musician tries to find common ground with her lover and friend. Penton's voice and lyrics exude a sense of hope, but she comes from a more mature place in life. She has experienced life both with and without her loved one, and she realizes the value of what they had. Things may never be exactly as they were before, but she doesn't want this moment to be the end. Fraught with emotion and knowledge, this is Kimia Penton's last chance, and she gives it her all.
"Memories of You" serves as a soulful closing to Lessons from Life and Love, and it sees Kimia Penton moving forward from the past. On the track, Penton finds herself in a position where she can watch life rush by her, as she sits back and reflects upon what was. "I'm missing you / wishing what we had was lasting," she sings, though she goes on to declare that her lover wasn't as pure as she'd thought. Now, she is trying to find a way to fill the void and move forward without leaving a jaded history behind her.
A sense of conviction shines above the heartbreak evident in her voice, and this is, without a doubt, the most electrifying that Penton has sounded on the album. There is such a carefully curated sense of longing that perfectly encapsulates the hunger for the best of both the past and the future. As the song comes to a close, it seems that Penton takes a little more time to reflect upon it all and find peace, and that may be one of the most important lessons of life and love...
An overwhelming sense of earnestness runs through Kimia Penton's Lessons of Life and Love, which only makes the release stronger. In six songs, Penton teaches listeners what it means to love, the overwhelming power of love, how to move forward from heartache, and so much more. The album is filled with wisdom and is performed with the utmost of love and pure emotion. Kimia Penton clearly cares for her music and the affect that it has on her listeners, and, as a result, she has created some truly moving music on Lessons of Life and Love.
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