Song of the Day: “What’ll It Be (Demo)” by Adam Schlesinger

Who is Adam Schlesinger? Find out this week, as I explore some of my favorite tracks by the power pop savant.

As if running two successful  bands, and now a third, plus ghostwriting for plenty of pop stars and other musical projects, wasn’t enough, Adam Schlesinger is also part of one of the most ambitious music projects on earth: An ongoing television musical, with new songs every week: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Schlesinger serves as “executive music director” and is one of the three main songwriters. Given about three songs per episode and fifteen episodes for season, Schlesinger has been on the hook for about 45 songs per year. And many songs have been released as singles. In other words, the bar for quality is set high.

I haven’t watched Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which is created by and starring Rachel Bloom. I was tempted to listen through the soundtracks and pick a song, but felt it would be disingenuous, since I don’t have any of the context (if any readers have recommendations, please share). I found a few rankings of the show’s best songs, and considered profiling the stirring “You Stupid Bitch,” the most frequent #1 pick on those lists.

But when I saw the first soundtrack featured a demo of one song performed by Schlesinger, I knew that would have to be my pick. And I listened to it, and it has the trademark tunefulness of Fountains of Wayne, but it in a stripped down, emotive setting, apparently telling the story of a bartender. Based on this track alone, I’m craving a Schlesinger solo album of piano ballads.

And it’s just so cool to see “by Adam Schlesinger,” something I haven’t seen before or since. It’d be a little like seeing “by Max Martin” or “by Phil Spector” on a track — a genius behind the scenes getting first billing.

Click here for the full list

Click here for the full list

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