"Spelling Bee was another show that I had to see (and do) to really get to love it - even as a big Bill Finn fan, I wasn't all that fond of a lot of the CD when I first heard it. (Some numbers, of course, like "The I Love You Song," were as emotionally impactful as intended.) But in getting to know the complete stage show, it's hard to imagine why I didn't fall in love with it sooner. "
Well, I would say SPELLING BEE is an unusual case where the book is far, far better than the score, and the score is really only serviceable to the book, with very few if any of the songs able to stand on their own to provide listening pleasure when experienced out of context on a cast album. (I agree about "I Love You"). I've always felt that SPELLING BEE was turned into a musical, rather than a straight play, essentially only for marketing purposes.