Lyricist Frank Topper continues his interesting and fruitful collaboration with singer Melissa Hollick after their successful attempt with the song “Channeling You”. This time, Greenbrae’s modern-day love poet, hands over the songwriting keys to Rachel Griffin, who also worked with Frank, on the song “I Turn Into You”.
This artistic ménage à trois brings such a level of emotion to “The Good and The Bad of Love” that I get goosebumps every time I listen to it. Frank’s music has its own special something, and this song is full of it. The lyrics are strong and meaningful while the music and voice complements the message perfectly. The radiant heat of this song’s fire is still new to me, so when I put it on, I have to stop what I’m doing, close my eyes and just listen.
Laced with agony, joy and pain, in this song, Frank Topper once again teaches us all about the difficulties and jubilance of a romantic relationship. Primarily though he reminds us that we need to accept both the positive and negative things, in a romantic relationship, as Melissa sings: “The good and the bad of love, Can’t have one without the other…”
But it’s the first verse of the song that quickly unfolds love’s distinct contrasts:
“Sweet frosting from a bowl, Then grit in your teeth
You go to heaven, Then you go to hell
Being yourself, Not knowing who you are
Longing to belong, Now you wish you were far”
Frank speaks in the language of love – so whether you like rnb, jazz, soul, funk, pop or rock you will always be able to appreciate his songs. He is able to combine heartfelt lyrics in a way that leaves an indelible impression on the listener’s spirit. “The Good and The Bad of Love” carries on that tradition.
With this track Melissa Hollick masterfully weaves together the “old school” with the new, using the rich tones and textures of her vocal toolbox, together with Frank’s thoughtful lyrics and her signature unrestrained delivery.
Rachel Griffin on the other hand, hits the center of the bulls-eye with her piano arrangement. Her bright but austere chord voicings, constantly reminds us all to shine through all of love’s joys and pains, or rather: “Stop whining, And get with the program” as Frank’s lyrics so bluntly warns, at the end of the song.
Frank Topper’s collaborative music releases are soulful and positive in a world where we embrace music with no substance. It’s familiar, yet refreshing, sweet with just the right amount of spice to keep the palette satisfied.
There are only a handful of artists delivering real music these days; stuff that ordinary people can relate to. It’s almost as if we put our own thoughts to melody, listening to this.
Lyrically, Topper’s pen is most concerned with survival in all things, be it personal, romantic, or spiritual. He tries to make sense of a world and relationships that seems like consistently trying to bring us down. Frank has an understanding of just how much the human touch, ‘someone-willing-to-bear-your-weight-for-a-time’, makes the difference. Therefore his songs possess an emotional honesty that becomes an addictive caress of his listeners’ ears and souls.