Weekends call for a special soundtrack: Something celebratory without being too hype, background-y when needed but also capable of sparking kaffeklatsch-type conversation, and of course, high quality enough that you don’t feel you’re squandering your precious free time listening it. TLC’s 20 retrospective, out this week, hits all those marks and more. Because nothing should be harder than it has to be on the weekend, read this now so you’re ready to listen this evening before you hit the town, or tomorrow morning when you’re mellowing with some coffee.
Background: TLC dominated ’90s R&B with three delightfully titled albums (Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip, 1992; CrazySexyCool, 1994; FanMail, 1999) that sold tens of millions of copies and threw off about 10 big hits, from “What About Your Friends” to “No Scrubs,” all of which you can hear on 20. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, the group’s flamboyant rapper, died in a 2002 car crash, after which the group broke up.
Recently: The group’s remaining two members, Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, put 20 together for the VH1 feature CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, which premieres on Monday night (Oct. 21). This week they’ve appeared on The View, Good Morning America, and The Wendy Williams Show.
Key vocab: New Jill Swing describes TLC and other females who came up in the New Jack Swing era. A scrub is a guy who thinks he’s fly, and is also known as a buster. He’s always talkin’ about what he wants, and just sits on his broke ass.
How to listen: Download 20 from iTunes or stream it on Spotify. Most of the must-listen hits, like “Creep” and “Waterfalls,” come in the first half, but don’t miss “No Scrubs” and the smoove-rough “Kick Your Game” in the second half. The sole new song here, “Meant to Be,” blends right in with their prime work thanks to a gum-snapping snare drum and almost folky guitar figures.