This brings me back. TLC’s “20” marks the 20-year anniversary of the group’s career. Music has made many shifts and changes, but one thing is clear: TLC still remains the top-selling all-girl group ever, and this collection reminds us why. This greatest hits collection features an eclectic mix from the group’s catalogue, ranging from breakup songs to songs of hope. There are also sexy songs like “Red Light Specials” sprinkled atop the mix.
What makes this compilation so great is that all the songs are easily recognizable as the biggest hits of TLC’s career. The album starts with “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg,” kicking off the album with Left-Eye leading the charge, chanting, “I ain’t too proud to beg” over an electrifying, funky beat. It makes for a great dance track with some spicy vocals and cow bells throughout the track.
“20” definitely brings a sense of nostalgia, with “Unpretty” still as emotional as it was 14 years ago. “Waterfalls” will throw you back into the 1990s. “No Scrubs,” with its infectious harmonies, will have you singing its chorus at the top of your lungs: “No I don’t want no scrub / A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me / Hanging out the passenger side / Of his best friend’s ride / Trying to holler at me.” You tell him, ladies.
TLC also dishes out one additional, new song to finish off the compilation. With the help of singer-songwriter Ne-Yo, TLC creates a meaningful track with “Meant to Be.” While it is a new song, “Meant To Be” still resembles TLC’s classic, somber instrumental style that complements the retrospective lyrics: “‘Cause we knew, / Said we always knew / No matter what would’ve come / That we were / Meant to be.” This is TLC at their finest, and while a huge piece of TLC is obviously missing (TLC member Left-Eye passed away in 2002), it is a moving track that follows in the footsteps of “Waterfalls.”
All of the hits are here, creating a compilation that lives up to the greatest hits title. Any die-hard TLC fans will already have these songs in their collection, but for any new fans wanting to learn more, “20” is a great place to start.
Rating: 5 stars