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TLC is the self-titled fifth studio album by American girl group TLC, released on June 30, 2017, by their newly formed label 852 Musiq.[7][8] TLC partnered with various distribution companies: Sony Music RED (North America), Liberation Music (Australia), Warner Music Group (Japan), and Cooking Vinyl (the rest of the world).[9] TLC is mainly a pop and R&B album with 1990s music influences.[10] It is their first studio album in 15 years, since the 2002 release of 3D.[11]

TLC
TLC - TLC album cover.png
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 30, 2017 (2017-06-30)
RecordedJune 2015 – April 2017
StudioHalpern Studios, Atlanta, Georgia
GenreR&B[1]
Length41:05
Label
Producer
TLC chronology
20
(2013)
TLC
(2017)
Singles from TLC
  1. "Joy Ride"
    Released: October 26, 2016 (2016-10-26)[2]
  2. "Haters"
    Released: October 26, 2016 (2016-10-26)[3]
  3. "Way Back"
    Released: April 14, 2017 (2017-04-14)[4]
  4. "It's Sunny"
    Released: June 2, 2017 (2017-06-02)[5]
  5. "American Gold"
    Released: June 23, 2017 (2017-06-23)[6]

The album received generally positive reviews from critics, many of whom praised the throwback sound included on the album, though some criticized the album's cheesiness and for not living up to their legacy. The album debuted at number 38 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 12,000 album-equivalent units in its first week, 11,000 of which were pure sales.[12] The album also reached number 20 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

TLC spawned the single "Way Back" which became their fourth Billboard Adult R&B top 10 hit, eventually peaking at #8. Haters was released as the lead international single.

The UK only deluxe edition features re-recorded versions of the singles "No Scrubs", "Creep", "Unpretty", "Baby-Baby-Baby", and "Diggin' on You".[7] The same recordings were included in the Japan-only 2013 release 20 and were used in the group's television biopic "CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story".

Contents

BackgroundEdit

On January 19, 2015, TLC announced their plan to release what they called their "final" album with the launch of a Kickstarter campaign. They asked fans to help finance the project by donating a pledge of at least $5 to reach their goal of $150,000.[13] In less than 48 hours, they surpassed their goal and become the "fastest most funded pop project in Kickstarter history". Among other artists who donated were New Kids on the Block (donating $10,000), Katy Perry (donating $5,000), Soulja Boy, Bette Midler and Justin Timberlake. The Kickstarter campaign raised a total of $400,000. In an interview published following the end of the campaign, Watkins and Thomas clarified that they would never split up following the release and promotion of the album, and that they would continue to perform together as TLC.[14]

PromotionEdit

The album's lead single "Way Back" featuring Snoop Dogg was released on April 14, 2017. The single was produced by D'Mile and was released via TLC's independent label 852 Musiq which is distributed through RED Distribution in the US.[15] The group first performed the song in London in May 2017. In the United States, the group promoted the single, album, and the I Love the 90s: The Party Continues Tour with performances on Today and Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

"Haters" was released on October 26, and on November 1, 2016 exclusively (alongside "Joy Ride") in Japan and New Zealand respectively.[16] The former was later re-released as the lead international single from the album on May 5, 2017.[17]

"American Gold"[18][19] and "It's Sunny"[20][21] were released as promotional singles prior to the album's release. "American Gold" was announced as the second single in the United States in June 2017 by the track's songwriter Candace Wakefield.[22][23]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?6.4/10[25]
Metacritic63/100[24]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [26]
Clash6/10[27]
Drowned in Sound7/10[28]
Entertainment WeeklyB-[29]
The Guardian     [30]
NME     [31]
Paste6.1/10[32]
Prefix Magazine7/10[33]
Slant Magazine      [34]
Spinmixed[35]

TLC received generally positive reviews from music critics. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 63 based on 15 reviews. Rachel Aroesti of The Guardian gave the album 4 stars out of 5, calling the album "deeply nostalgic" also stating that it "proves that their winning formula still works."[36] Andy Kellman of AllMusic criticized the album, calling the album "more suited for Radio Disney than for the Hot 97", also targeting the song Haters, saying that it felt like it was more or so written for a teen pop girl group.[37] In a mixed review, Felicity Martin of Clash praised their comeback single Way Back, calling it the perfect comeback single, and praised some other songs included on the album, however, criticizing songs such as It's Sunny for being cheesy.[27] In a positive review, Jim Farber of Entertainment Weekly said that the songs on the album were great, but that they did not compare to their past music. Despite this comment, he stated that they were able to move ahead in one aspect: their mature perspective of nostalgia.[38] In another mixed review, Nick Levine of NME criticized some of the song's cheesiness, along with criticizing some of the songs included on the album for sounding like every other song in the R&B genre. Despite these complaints, he praised the song Scandalous, calling it a return to their former edge.[39] In a positive review, Julianne Shepherd of Pitchfork praised the girl-power anthems included on the album, however stating that the songs do not hold up to their former glory.[40] In another positive review, Philippa Barr of Drowned in Sound praised the dance club anthems on the album, along with the empowerment anthems. However, she criticized the cliché in the song It's Sunny.[41]

Commercial performanceEdit

In the United States, TLC debuted at number 38 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 12,000 album-equivalent units, 11,000 of which were pure sales.[42] The album spent 1 week on the chart, marking TLC's lowest charting studio album, and lowest running studio album. The album performed similarly on the UK Albums Chart when it debuted at number 40.[43] The album charted 5 spots higher than 3D, making it their highest charting album on the chart since the 1999 release of FanMail.

On the Scottish Singles and Albums Charts, the album debuted at number 72, spending 1 week on the chart.[44] The album also managed to debut at number 7 on the Recorded Music NZ Heatseekers Album chart, where it spent 1 week on the chart.[45]

Track listingEdit

TLC – Standard version[46]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."No Introduction"
  • Candace Wakefield
  • Elvis Brown
  • Carnoy "Ayo Kayo" Watkins
3:02
2."Way Back" (featuring Snoop Dogg)
D'Mile3:46
3."It's Sunny"Ron Fair3:23
4."Haters"
  • Michael Busbee
  • Casper &B
2:40
5."Perfect Girls"
  • Watkins
  • Wakefield
  • Raylene S. Arreguin
  • Watkins
  • David Reed
  • Desmond "Motown" Washington
3:05
6."Interlude" @BennyWond3r - yonni1:11
7."Start a Fire"
  • Watkins
  • Gabrielle "Goldie" Nowee
  • Wakefield
Watkins4:02
8."American Gold"
  • Watkins
  • Candace Wakefield
  • Elvis Brown
Watkins3:38
9."Scandalous"Tommy "Vegas" DoyleCory Mo3:32
10."Aye Muthafucka"
  • Watkins
  • Marqueze Etheridge
  • Nowee
DrePhantom3:16
11."Joy Ride"Rebekah Muhammad
  • Marks
  • Richardson
4:18
12."Way Back" (featuring Snoop Dogg) (extended version)D'Mile4:26
Total length:41:05

PersonnelEdit

Credits for TLC adapted from AllMusic.[47]

  • James Abrahart - composer
  • Raylene S. Arreguin - composer
  • Chris Athens - mastering
  • Luke Austin - keyboards
  • Leslie Brathwaite - mastering, mixing
  • Calvin Broadus - composer
  • Elvis Brown - composer
  • Mike Busbee - producer
  • Casper & B. - producer
  • Bill Diggins - producer
  • Theodore "NoizeBeatz" Lawrence - producer
  • Tommy Doyle, Jr. - composer
  • Charles Dunlap - producer
  • Terrence "Grad Teachem" Dunlap - vocals
  • Devon Eisenberger - guitar
  • Dernst Emile II - composer, keyboards, producer, programming
  • Ron Fair - additional production, engineer, executive producer, piano, producer, vocal producer
  • Bobby Hebb - composer
  • Kevin Hellon - bass
  • Bryan Jarrett - composer
  • Debra Killings - vocals (background)
  • Raymond Komba - keyboards, producer
  • Dennis Leupold - photography
  • Chris Malloy - producer
  • Cory "Knotch" Marks - drum programming, producer, programming
  • Maureen McDonald - composer
  • Albert McKay - composer
  • Niko McKnight - guitar, producer
  • Cory Mo - drum programming, engineer, keyboards, mixing, producer, synthesizer, vocal engineer
  • Rebekah Muhammed - composer
  • Zach Nicholls - engineer, mixing, mixing engineer, vocal engineer
  • Gabrielle "Goldie" Nowee - composer
  • Desmond Peterson - producer
  • David Reed - producer
  • Joshua "Tipz" Richardson - engineer, producer
  • Lucas Sader - guitars
  • Peter Sharkey - programming
  • Snoop Dogg - featured artist
  • Gavin Taylor - creative director, design
  • Patrick Thrall - vocal engineer
  • TLC - primary artist
  • Daniel Ullman - composer
  • Candace Wakefield - composer
  • Desmond "Motown" Washington - producer
  • Carnoy "Ayo Kayo" Watkins - A&R, composer, producer
  • Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins - composer, producer
  • Maurice White - composer
  • Alta Willis - composer

ChartsEdit

Chart (2017) Peak
position
Australian Digital Albums (ARIA)[48] 34
Australian Urban Albums (ARIA)[49] 25
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[50] 166
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[51] 81
Greek Albums (IFPI)[52] 42
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[53] 62
New Zealand Heatseekers Albums (RMNZ)[54] 7
Scottish Albums (OCC)[55] 72
UK Albums (OCC)[56] 40
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[57] 3
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[58] 1
US Billboard 200[59] 38
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[60] 1
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[61] 20

SalesEdit

Region Sales
Japan (Oricon)[53] 4,586

Release historyEdit

List of release dates, showing country, format, label and references
Country Date Format Version Label
United States June 30, 2017 Digital download/CD
  • Standard
  • Deluxe
  • 852 Musiq
  • Sony Music RED
[8]
United Kingdom Cooking Vinyl[46]
France[62]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Levine, Nick (June 29, 2017). "TLC - TLC Album Review". NME. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  2. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/joy-ride-single/id1168571497
  3. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/haters-single/id1168574324
  4. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/way-back-feat-snoop-dogg-single/id1224416387
  5. ^ https://www.7digital.com/artist/tlc-(2)/release/its-sunny-6624747
  6. ^ https://www.7digital.com/artist/tlc-(2)/release/american-gold-6597742
  7. ^ a b c "TLC (Deluxe) by TLC on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "TLC by TLC on Apple Music". iTunes (US). Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  9. ^ "TLC Form New Label '852 Musiq' For Upcoming Album - CyberTLC World". Cybertlc.world. Archived from the original on April 23, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  10. ^ Levine, Nick (June 29, 2017). "TLC – 'TLC' Review". NME. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  11. ^ "TLC - 3D". Discogs. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  12. ^ Zellner, Xander (July 14, 2017). "TLC Joins De La Soul & More Artists With Crowdfunded Albums on the Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  13. ^ Bradley Stern (January 19, 2015). "TLC on Kickstarter, Lady Gaga and Making New Music". TIME.com. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  14. ^ "The SPIN Interview: TLC Look Back on Their First Decade and Ahead to Their Final Album". Spin. February 26, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  15. ^ "Way Back (feat. Snoop Dogg) - Single by TLC on Apple Music - iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  16. ^ "Haters - Single by TLC on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  17. ^ "TLC: Haters on Google Play". Google Play Store (UK). Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  18. ^ https://www.vibe.com/2017/06/tlc-american-gold-song/
  19. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47m2E18DCMY
  20. ^ http://swaysuniverse.com/tlc-returns-with-a-new-single-its-sunny/
  21. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EolE4i0UmWw
  22. ^ https://www.instagram.com/p/BVsIJUzHPXX/
  23. ^ https://twitter.com/SuPaStAr_C/status/878294922943770624
  24. ^ "Reviews and Tracks for TLC by TLC". metacritic.com. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  25. ^ "TLC by TLC reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. June 30, 2017. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  26. ^ Kellman, Andy. "TLC - TLC : Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.com. All Media Network. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  27. ^ a b Martin, Felicity (August 3, 2017). "TLC - TLC". Clash. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  28. ^ Barr, Philippa (June 30, 2017). "Album Review: TLC - TLC". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  29. ^ "TLC's new album will make fans nostalgic: EW review". Entertainment Weekly.
  30. ^ "TLC: TLC review – Chilli and T-Boz turn back time". The Guardian.
  31. ^ "TLC – 'TLC' Review". NME.
  32. ^ Voynovskaya, Nastia (July 7, 2017). "TLC: TLC Review". Paste. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  33. ^ O'Brien, Jon (July 6, 2017). "TLC - TLC Album Review". Prefix Magazine. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  34. ^ "Slant review".
  35. ^ Hope, Clover (July 5, 2017). "Review: TLC's Crowdfunded Comeback Album Is a Missed Opportunity for a Storybook Ending". Spin. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  36. ^ Aroesti, Rachel (June 30, 2017). "TLC: TLC review – Chilli and T-Boz turn back time". The Guardian. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  37. ^ Kellman, Andy (June 30, 2017). "TLC - TLC - Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  38. ^ Farber, Jim. "TLC's new album will make fans nostalgic: EW review".
  39. ^ Levine, Nick (June 29, 2017). "TLC - TLC Album Review". Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  40. ^ Shepherd, Julianne (July 6, 2017). "TLC:TLC Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  41. ^ Bar, Philippa (June 30, 2017). "Album Review:TLC - TLC:Review". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
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  44. ^ "Official Scottish Albums". Scottish Singles and Albums Charts. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  45. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
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  47. ^ Kellman, Andy (June 30, 2017). "TLC - TLC - Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  48. ^ "ARIA Digital Albums Chart" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. July 10, 2017. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  49. ^ "ARIA Urban Albums Chart" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. July 10, 2017. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
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  52. ^ "Official IFPI Charts – Top-75 Albums Sales Chart (Week: 29/2017)". IFPI Greece. Archived from the original on August 1, 2017. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  53. ^ a b オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」 -CD・ブルーレイ・DVD・書籍・コミック-. Oricon Style (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
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  55. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  56. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
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  60. ^ "TLC Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  61. ^ "TLC Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
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