Maybe you were blissfully unaware that TLC's final album was being made, or perhaps you emptied your piggybank to finance TLC's Kickstarter. Either way, it's safe to say that I've really missed the girl group in the last decade and a half since the untimely loss of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. But luckily, T-Boz and Chilli have formally reunited to bring you some closure and ideally some solid grooves: that album is coming out, and I even have an idea as to when.
According to the official Kickstarter page, the new TLC album will tentatively be released the end June 2017, which isn't that much of an agonizing stretch considering how long we've waited already. However, if you're wondering what took so long (the fundraiser kicked off in January of 2015), a lot of it boils down to "you can't rush art" and, furthering that, "you can't rush art when you have to figure out a tour schedule and deal with a lack of resources."
In a February 27 update and statement from manager Bill Diggins, he says that the the girls decided to do an album "based on a number of emotional decisions," and one of the the most important emotional factors was fans inspired T-Boz and Chilli with an flood of emails and texts begging for a new album. However, they were ramping up for a tour and had no music, producers, or writers when they first embarked on this endeavor. Plus, they didn't want to just throw a record together. They wanted a comeback that would satiate their fans.
The statement goes on to read,
"They demanded of themselves a record that would stand up to the great body of work created in the past and that you would be proud of; because your belief and support is the greatest form of love and we want you to be proud."
Aw. It's all for us, you guys.
Of course, I'm also hoping the album will honor the L of TLC. I mean, what will a TLC record look, sound, and feel like with the loss of Left Eye? Undoubtedly, she was the firecracker (and fire-starter that one time) of the group, but she also had a strong voice and huge heart. The singer was actually volunteering in Honduras when she had her fatal car accident in 2002. That loss, emotionally and artistically, is something that will be felt on this record.
But it's good that the girls aren't just releasing anything haphazardly to capitalize on their fan's nostalgia. I can hang tight until June and will be mainlining "No Scrubs" until then. I suggest you do the same.