TLC’s first single of 2017, ‘Way Back’, was the perfect example of a comeback done right. The G-funk cut (with a Snoop Dogg feature to boot) showed that the best-selling American girl group of all time — minus, of course Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes — meant business; the bumping bassline throwing us back into the late-’90s while managing not to sound tired.
Opener ‘Introduction’ is a powerful statement of intent from T-Boz and Chilli — with the repeated chant “T…L…TLC!” like a crowd summoning them to a hypothetical stage. ‘Perfect Girls’ and ‘Start A Fire’ are cuts packed with nostalgic acoustic guitar fingerwork, transporting us right back to the group’s heyday.
‘Scandalous’ repurposes classic R&B melodies that are brought up to date with glossier, trap-leaning beats, while album closer ‘Joy Ride’ does exactly what it says on the tin; it’s a joyous, perfectly assembled pop track.
That’s not to say that the Kickstarter-funded LP is hit after hit — the bright and brash ‘It’s Sunny’ with its oddly theatrical tropes is a cheesy misstep.
‘TLC’ isn’t the ‘No Scrubs’ level of perfect comeback album that we really wanted, but then again, in the group’s own words: “Perfect girls ain’t real.”
Words: Felicity Martin
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