Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Music Minute: Jess Penner - Imagination

My older daughter is becoming a tween, which means she doesn't want to listen to "little kid music" anymore. She has a talent for music and appreciates music that is a little more sophisticated and grown up. I still want her to be listening to music that is family-friendly, and she enjoys upbeat, optimistic music.

A new album I got to review fit the bill. Jess Penner recently released Imagination, an album filled with classic children's songs and some original tunes, all with a more sophisticated sound. The melodies are easily singable, but not simplistic. I loved her take on Somewhere Over the Rainbow, and my husband enjoyed listening to a song from his childhood, Mr. Sun. This is a great album for kids who are bridging between little kids' music and more grown-up desires, and it's an uplifting, optimistic album that can help boost self-image.

Penner grew up on a banana farm on Kauai. She met her husband Kevin as teenagers performing in a nationally touring Christian rock band. Over the past decade, they have forged a musical powerhouse, crafting sticky songs and recording other artists’ projects in a converted garage studio behind their Los Angeles home. Over the years, other projects have included the bands Chandelle, Kayjez and We Cry Diamonds. Penner’s three solo albums have gained critical acclaim and millions of streams on Spotify, including the song “Life Is Rosy,” written with former One Republic band member Tim Myers. 
With her Songcents blog, Penner shares her knowledge of the industry with aspiring indie artists. Her YouTube channel features a homespun “Slice & Song” reality TV style series, where she demonstrates a favorite pie recipe and performs a song in her home studio.
The release of Imagination simply continues Jess Penner’s journey as an artist, role model and parent. “I want kids to dream, savor life, and know that they have the power to do anything they put their minds to. The world can be a tough place; why don't we make sure that the messages kids receive on repeat lift them up and empower them?” says Penner.

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