Almost two years ago, TLC launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their final studio album. While some saw this as a desperate plea, die hard fans (including Katy Perry, Mariah Carey and Bette Midler) quickly funded their $150,000 ask in under 48 hours. They ended the Kickstarter with a grand total of nearly $500,000. However, fans have since grown weary waiting for the new music. TLC is currently touring over seas in Japan, Europe and Australia. Earlier this week, T-Boz confirmed on Twitter that they would premier 2 new songs during their Japan shows. Japan has always given TLC much love. True to form, they were the first to be able to download new tracks from the upcoming TLC album.
Controversy has been swarming the album, including Pebbles’ lawsuit for their 2013 biopic. Nonetheless, they appear to continue to trudge forward and stick to what matters most: the music. After hearing both songs in their entirety, I must admit that I was a bit surprised at the sound. “Haters” is a song about not living up to other people’s opinions. “Joyride” is an audible thank you letter to their fans (much like the concept of Fanmail).
Let’s start with “Haters”. The song’s lyrics are definitely poignant for today’s time. However, the song sounds way more pop than I would have imagined. Their vocals sound great (with both T-Boz and Chilli singing equal parts). The vibe of the song really puts me in the mindset of Taylor Swift though. I can see this one gaining them a broader pop fan base, but I’m not exactly sure how their core fans will receive it.
Then there’s “Joyride”. The production on this song alone is amazing. There are plenty of horns, drums and synthesizers, which makes it easy to listen to from the beginning. T-Boz and Chilli express their gratitude to the fans for sticking by them through thick and then. Is it pop as well? Sure. TLC gets back to more of their soulful roots here though. The chorus falls a little short of my expectations for a song that has some prolific verses. But we can’t get everything we want in life.
TLC is prepping for a 1st quarter 2017 release in the US. I’m curious to see if the rest of their album will have such a heavy pop influence as well. My guess is there will be several music styles represented. Let’s just hope they were able to work Left Eye in there some kind of way. For now, check out “Haters” and “Joyride” for yourself.
What are your thoughts on the songs? Would you say “Bump It” or “Dump It”?