Review #218: CrazySexyCool, TLC

Karla Clifton
3 min readDec 29, 2021

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#218: CrazySexyCool, TLC

I was only familiar with a few TLC songs: “No Scrubs,” “Unpretty,” and “Waterfalls.” I think this is the first “girl group” we’ve encountered, which is great! (I wish there was a better term for it, but alas.)

TLC was made up of three women: Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas. Left Eye rang a bell in my head, and I quickly learned why after some research: She died in 2002 at age 30 in a car crash. God, I hate reading about these musicians who died at around my age. Makes me want to eat more vegetables and drive a little slower.

As the RS blurb points out, this album came at a time of turbulence for TLC. Soon before its release, Left Eye accidentally burned down her boyfriend’s house. No, that’s not a joke. She lit a pair of his sneakers on fire and things went predictably wrong. She released a great B-side about it called “My Secret Enemy.”

Also, they went bankrupt! Apparently they had a crappy record deal, in addition to some medical and legal expenses. (Looking at you, Left Eye.) I can’t imagine success coming with financial ruin.

FAVORITE SONGS:

“Intro-lude” — See below for more of my thoughts on interludes, but intros are always kind of fun, like an overture in a musical.

“Creep” — So this song is about a lady who cheats on her dude because she feels like she isn’t getting enough attention. I’m normally not into songs about cheating, but I’ll admit that it’s kind of nice to hear it from a girl group instead of some posturing rap dude. However, this song was actually kind of divisive within the band itself — Left Eye doesn’t contribute a verse and wanted to veto the whole thing.

“Kick Your Game” — This album is way cooler than I thought it would be. I had no idea that TLC was so crazy and sexy and cool.

“Diggin’ On You” — A little slow, but it reveals TLC’s layers: they can do simple love songs, too.

“Case of the Fake People” — This one is iconic. Goodbye/To all the fake people in my life/I never wanted you around me.

“Red Light Special” — Again, a little slow, but there are some kind of sweet guitar parts in here. Also the music video rocks. Left Eye plays a pimp!

“Waterfalls” — This is basically what I think of when I think of ’90s R&B. Also there’s a verse in here by Left Eye that sounds like it inspired Nicki Minaj’s whole career.

“If I Was Your Girlfriend” — A Prince cover! You may remember this one from #45, Sign O’ The Times, where I put it in my Least Favorite Songs section. I guess I have terrible taste! Who knew!

“Sexy-Interlude” — Another interlude I’ll let slide, because it pulls a hilarious bait-and-switch.

“Can I Get a Witness-Interlude” — This one, too, because Busta Rhymes is here.

“Switch” Don’t take no mess from nobody/If they act up, just leave ’em alone. Interpolates “Rapper’s Delight” AND “Hit The Road, Jack.” That’s just genius.

“Sumthin’ Wicked This Way Comes” — Andre 3000! Of Outkast! Also officially, Left Eye is my favorite member of TLC, despite her arson issues.

LEAST FAVORITE SONGS:

“CrazySexyCool-Interlude” — Cooling toward the thing where rap/R&B albums to have a bunch of skits/interludes. Amounts to me having to listen to a handful of half-songs.

“Intermission-Lude” — See above.

IS RS FULL OF IT?

I’ll always gun for the girl groups. I think this album deserves its spot, and that’s that on that.

Review #217: Definitely Maybe, Oasis

Review #219: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, Raekwon

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Karla Clifton