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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Album review: TLC's final album a fitting tribute to the R&B veterans

Fifteen years on, these slick dozen tracks have a carefree sunny vibe, moving with the times without trying too hard to chase the zeitgeist

This cover image released by 852 Musiq shows a self-titled album by TLC. (852 Musiq via AP)
This cover image released by 852 Musiq shows a self-titled album by TLC. (852 Musiq via AP)

Crowdfunding for albums has long since lost its whiff of desperation, further confirmed by this fifth and final album by reunited American R&B-ettes TLC – donations from Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake helped finance this comeback record.

It’s arguably TLC’s biggest moment in the sun since their most-charismatic member, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez, died in 2002, a sad nadir during a dark spell for female R&B, which lost Aaliyah eight months earlier.

Fifteen years on, these slick dozen tracks have a carefree sunny vibe, moving with the times without trying too hard to chase the zeitgeist. The positivity is infectious, even on Haters, which cheerily shrugs its shoulders at the concept of naysayers. It’s never a chore to sit through a Snoop Dogg guest spot, either – the Doggfather sidles onto Way Back with effortless West Coast charm.

Indeed, the only grasping at past glories arrives on the record’s deluxe edition, which features remastered versions of TLC hits, including signature song No Scrubs. That aside, it’s a breezy 40 minutes to soundtrack your summer.