tlc’s first album in 14 years is almost here
According to the iconic group’s manager, the Kickstarter-funded album is complete and a world tour is on the way.
Though it's still one of the highest selling female groups of all time, TLC has had to weather a considerable amount of financial issues throughout its 25-year career (troubles not simply caused by scrubs and their affiliates, bustas). The threesome filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the height of its success in 1995, due largely to what many consider wildly unfair contract negotiations with LaFace Records and former manager Perri "Pebbles" Reid. So for its final album — the first in 14 years, and the first without the late Left Eye Lopes — members T-Boz and Chilli's goal was simple: to create a record "completely on our own terms" by funding the project with the help of their fans.
The Kickstarter campaign they launched at the beginning of this year hit its $150,000 target in two days. In two months they raised $430,000, thanks in part to some amazing rewards: an "Unpretty" MAC makeover, a workout session with Chilli, a sleepover with T-Boz (Katy Perry forked out five grand for that one). Now, a series of recent updates on the group's Facebook page (reportedly operated by manager Bill Diggins) suggest that the as yet untitled project is complete, and they're in the planning stages of a world tour. "TLC have completed 15 solid tracks worthy of inclusion on the album that they cannot wait to share with us! The tracklist is yet to be decided, but we can expect a release in the 4th quarter of this year!" one update reads.
"Our final album will stay true to the TLC sound, always confronting the real issues and life experiences that we all must face every single day, everywhere," T-Boz and Chilli wrote in the Kickstarter campaign's statement. "We write music that people relate to...timeless music. No matter the trends, we feel like our music is always relevant." It's an accurate assessment; while you wait for the new tunes, revisit the group's 1999 album FanMail. Released at the threshold of the new millennium, it's a powerful (and prophetic) meditation on digital communication, creative connectivity, and loneliness in an increasingly technological world.
Text Emily Manning
"Unpretty" still via YouTube