But even when the lyrics aren’t jokes, the word that completes a couplet often does the work of a punch line, recontextualizing and clarifying what came before it. In “Someone to Love,” “Beth McKenzie got the job of her dreams” is immediately deflated by the mundanity of “retouching photos for a magazine” and then “aimed at teens.” The first rhyme is Wile E. Coyote hitting his head on every branch after he falls off a cliff; the second is the rock that lands on his head after he hits bottom.

Nobody will ever have a career like Adam Schlesinger’s again

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