by Ayanna Jacobs-El
The popular girl group TLC just released their 5th and final album since the 2002 tragic death of founding member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes in a car crash. Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas funded the album by launching a Kickstarter campaign in 2015. It only took one month for the campaign to raise more than $430,000, which greatly surpassed their goal of $150,000. T-Boz and Chilli decided to create the final TLC album without the support of a major label because they wanted to be able to have complete control of their musical vision.
TLC’s newest album honors Left Eye’s legacy by incorporating an interlude that features Left Eye talking about her experiences with TLC and her dream to, “keep going forward and never go backward.” The remaining members of TLC did not enlist another rapper to take Left Eye’s place on the new album, which further shows respect and love for their deceased member.
The self-titled final album features a couple of tracks that seem to have been taken straight out of a 90s time capsule. Fans will definitely feel a sense of nostalgia upon listening to “Way Back,” which was the first single released off of the album. The track features a fat and prominent bass, hard hitting horns, a funky groove, and a classic Snoop Dogg rap verse. T-Boz and Chilli’s voices are still just as rich and distinctive as they were ‘way back’ in their “Waterfalls” days. “Way Back” is a perfect old-school influenced summer jam that proves that TLC still has the ability to create hits.
As much as the album holds onto the traditional TLC sound there are still some tracks that fit into the sound of today. “Haters” has an uplifting pop-trap style that fits really well with the message about not letting other people’s negative opinions and jealousy affect how you live your life. In “Perfect Girls” TLC crafts a song that follows in the footsteps of “Unpretty” by speaking about the importance of self-love. I like that “Perfect Girls” has a positive message without going into the realm of preachiness.
“It’s Sunny” is an upbeat song that uses elements of Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September.” Even though the lyrics and the overall vibe are positive, the song is unfortunately very cheesy. Another track that took away from the overall quality of the album was “Scandalous.” The sensual message and trap beat seem out of place compared to the other songs on the album.
The newest album will surely satisfy fans cravings for new music but none of the songs can compete with some of the group’s biggest hits like “No Scrubs.” Chilli and T-Boz will be a part of the multi-city I Love The 90s: The Party Continues Tour so be sure to get a ticket if they come to a city near you. Overall, the final album is a good way to end the TLC legacy and I am excited to see what will come next for Chilli and T-Boz.
HAVE YOU HERD TLC’S NEWEST ALBUM? LET US KNOW YOUR FAVORITE SONGS IN THE COMMENTS!