Arista - 2002 - 49 minutes
Anyone watching this summer's MTV Video Music Awards in New York would have seen a somewhat different TLC as Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins and Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas made their way to the podium to give a moving tribute to their friend and fellow band member Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes, who died in a car crash in Honduras in April.
Before Lopes' untimely death, they had already laid the foundations of their follow-up to the 10 million selling 1999 album 'Fanmail'. Lopes had chosen the title, blueprinted the visuals and the finished album sees her appear on five tracks. There are elements of tribute to '3D' but it remains surprisingly upbeat and typical of previous TLC albums. First single, 'Girl Talk', is as funky as you'd expect and 'Turntable' is a beautiful, simple acoustic-driven ballad - but they're both too reminiscent of previous singles. In an industry of ever-evolving artists, this chapter of TLC - despite the obvious change - remains unfinished, due perhaps to the girls' understandable reluctance to move on. "We wanted this to be a classic TLC record…", Chilli said.
There are no stand-out tracks like the old days of 'No Scrubs', 'Creep' and 'Waterfalls' but to top those would be arduous, to say the least. For some good old booty-bounce, check out 'Dirty Dirty', 'Quickie' and, of course, 'Girl Talk'. For some slick, laid-back melodies try 'Damaged', 'Turntable' and 'Good Love'. Known for innovation and transformation, TLC may disappoint some with this album - you expect more from the best selling female group in music history. Still, we can sure as hell look forward to an amazing Greatest Hits collection.
Tracklisting: 3D (Intro) - Quickie - Girl Talk - Turntable - In Your Arms Tonight - Over Me - Hands Up - Damaged - Dirty Dirty - So So Dumb - Good Love - Hey Hey Hey Hey - Give It To Me While It's Hot