Who is Adam Schlesinger? Find out this week, as I explore some of my favorite tracks by the power pop savant.
In 2009, power pop supergroup Tinted Windows formed and released their first (to date, only) album. The band has four members: Taylor Hanson on vocals, James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins on guitar, Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick on drums, and Adam Schlesinger on bass.
You’d be hard pressed to come up with a more intriguing blend of talent in one project. The resulting album is a delight, if not groundbreaking: This is vintage power pop, clean and effervescent. Shlesinger has nine of eleven writing credits on the album, and it highlights one of his greatest strengths: Creating facsimilies of different, often classic, sounds, and making it sound authentic, not retro or pastiche. Pair that with his knack for incredible hooks, and you get something like Tinted Windows: an album that sounds straight out of 1970 if not for the clean production.
Tinted Windows make for easy listening, and with every spin there will be a new tune stuck in your head. You can whip through all 11 tracks in just over a half hour (I’ve done so many times).
I’ve always expected the project to be a fun one-off. But in 2014, I got excited based on rumors of the band reuniting for a second album. Four years later, we still have nothing to show for it. Alas. Maybe someday. Even if we never get another album, the one we have is good fun that I’m grateful for: Not just because we get a new lens on Schlesinger’s pop craftmanship, but because helped inspire me to get deeper into power pop’s roots.