There’s so much angst in current popular music. Katy Perry warns, “Don’t you come for me” on “Swish Swish.” Kendrick Lamar demands that egomaniacs “be humble.” Beyoncé raises her “middle fingers up” on “Sorry.” So TLC’s self-titled final studio album fills a void, taking a more nurturing approach to addressing modern-day social ills.
On TLC — the group’s first album since 2002’s 3D (which was TLC’s last with Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who was killed in a Honduras car accident that same year) — surviving members Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins encourage women to accept themselves on “Perfect Girls,” urge listeners to ignore detractors on “Haters,” and send condolences to those lost at war on “American Gold.”
“Perfect Girls,” which addresses young women’s desperate longing for attention on social media, is a standout track, and it could almost be seen as an unofficial sequel to TLC’s 1999 hit “Unpretty.” Once again, TLC are stressing the message that thy want girls to love themselves. “You have a lot of girls putting up these pictures, but they post these pictures and that’s not how they look,” Thomas says. “They have these apps that alter how you look and filters for days, and that song lets everybody know that perfect girls don’t exist. We all have our flaws. Everybody.”