Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What we're listening to...

Now & Forever: The Hits by TLC

This CD brings together hit singles and an unreleased track from the R&B trio TLC. TLC is a girl group unlike any other. Each member has her own distinct sound; to hear a group change up a song's vibe several times within the course of three or four minutes is awesome. T-Boz's vocals are raspy and soulful, Left Eye raps with a hyperactive intensity, and Chilli contributes smooth and seductive vocals.

Not only is TLC's sound very unique, but for me their music is definitive of the '90s and early '00s. You can practically see the neon-colored outfits while listening to early hits like "Hat 2 Da Back," "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg" and "What About Your Friends" from their 1992 album Oooooooh!... On the TLC Tip. TLC's more grown-up sound and image are reflected in cuts including "Creep," "Red Light Special," and "Waterfalls" from 1994's CrazySexyCool. I remember those songs dominating radio stations and the music videos, especially "Waterfalls," airing continuously on MTV (does that make me old if I can remember watching music videos on MTV?). 1999's FanMail brought the even more ubiquitous singles of "No Scrubs" and "Unpretty." I remember sitting in my sophomore English class when out of nowhere we heard a girl loudly singing "No Scrubs" in the hallway. That song was absolutely inescapable. This collection also includes songs from 3D, released in 2002 not long after the death of member Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, who is irreplaceable.

Definitely check this CD out. You can hear R&B/pop fused with rap on plenty of songs on the radio today, usually featuring guest rappers or vocalists. Those songs don't hold a candle to the "CrazySexyCool" sound of the three women of TLC that joins together R&B, rap, pop, and soul.

Find it in the catalog!