Glenn Polin is an amateur artist, singer and producer. Frank Topper is an organizational development consultant from Greenbrae, California, who writes lyrics on his day off. Together the two moonlighters have been working on a couple of songs in their spare time. Well, three songs, to be honest. The songs roughly deal with religion, women and money, sometimes all at the same time. It’s difficult to find another 3 topics as controversial as these, anywhere on the planet. Lyricist Frank Topper has proven himself to be incredibly versatile over the last couple years, mixing vein-bulging intensity, emotion-laden elegance and a humorous flair in his verses.
But Frank has always had to hand over half of the work to someone else to get the job done, and relying on various singer-songwriters to slot his words into appropriate pieces of music. Some collaboration efforts were magic, others better than the rest, but on the odd occasion it wasn’t always a match made in heaven – until Frank met up with someone like Glenn Polin of course.
Glenn has the same irony, hard-nosed tongue in cheek expressions, and offbeat smartness in his voice that you can read in Topper’s lines. Now I wouldn’t be as presumptuous to say that this is a match made in heaven, but it’s damn near close.
“Pay Me” is a track that has Frank and Glen sharing the lyric writing, while Glenn completed the music too. Starting out on a sumptuous electric piano ditto Glen digs in with “Pay me if you wanna get God”. That one line is enough to let you know where these fellows are heading thematically.
This is a smart arrangement with Glen recording a series of layered vocal harmonies and injecting the song with plenty of horns and his preacher voice: “Don’t need gyms, don’t need affairs. Just pay me for God and you’ll get there.”
“Bottom Line Woman” is a Blues-induced lament, where the narrator loses all his money to good times and good women…or is that bad women. Glen turns in another sterling performance. This time he uses his deep gravelly crooning voice, which is as effective as it is charming to the ear. “The money’s all gone, and there’s a hole inside where my heart used to be,” is sung between a wailing saxophone and a yearning lead guitar.
Besides the vocals, Glen shows off all of his instrumental skills, sculpting a rich, heart-wrenching soundscape, before throwing down the trump line “She’s not interested in my plans, don’t care about future dreams. Well she lookin’ at my coffee, she only wants the cream.”
“Every Moment at Once” sees a complete change of tone, timbre and style, as Glen bathes his romantic swooning, inside a smooth, laidback but groovy, traditional pop standard-type backdrop – “When you took my hand, when I revived. When you said yes, that’s when I arrived. Every moment at once.”
This is the kind of jazzy music that Sinatra or Tony Bennett would have cherished in their catalogs. These songs show the kind of simple magic that can happen when two artists who were made for each other, join forces to create something special, without pretense or particular ambition, other than fulfilling their personal dreams and spreading a bit of wisdom, wit and love, towards whoever wants it.
OFFICIAL LINKS: YOUTUBE