Picks and Pans Review: '3D'

TLC (Arista)

Album of the week

“Yo, remember me/ Left Eye, TLC,” raps the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes on “Girl Talk,” the funky, fresh-mouthed first single off TLC’s fourth album. It is one of four tracks featuring Lopes, who died in a car accident last April, before this disc was completed. There are no solemn dirges here, though. In crazy-sexy-cool TLC style, the trio’s surviving members—Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas—pay tribute on the rowdy, reggae-tinged party jam “Dirty Dirty.” “Left Eye would want us to break it down like this,” they rap—before, out of nowhere, they stop the groove with “Left Eye gets a moment of silence.”

Elsewhere TLC continues to display the same kind of street sass that marked hits like “No Scrubs,” whether they are dissing male sexual performance on “Quickie” or kicking a trifling lover to the curb on “Over Me.” Once again they demonstrate an uncanny knack for incorporating up-to-the-second beats into their trademark hip-hop funk, with writing-producing contributions from Baby-face and Missy Elliott, among other top talent. The sultry-voiced Watkins cowrote 6 of 13 cuts, including the CD’s best, most vulnerable moment: “Damaged,” a Princely mid-tempo gem in the vein of “Unpretty,” which reveals that underneath all that attitude, all they really want is a little TLC.

Bottom Line: Three cheers for 3D

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