While TLC were once innovators, they’re mere followers on their fourth (and final) album. Aside from the glistening alterna-pop of the life-affirming “Turntable” and the poignant “Damaged,” most of 3D, though upbeat and catchy, is ultimately two-dimensional. “Quickie” and “Girl Talk,” the album’s lead single, confront one-minute men and equal opportunity gossip, respectively, but it all seems derivative of TLC’s late-1990s hit “No Scrubs.” “In Your Arms Tonight,” produced by the Neptunes, is a lackluster preview of the inevitable T-Boz solo release, while the Missy Elliott and Timbaland-produced “Dirty Dirty” is more of an extended interlude than an actual song. T-Boz and Chilli faithfully adopt their producers’ distinctive style but add nothing of their own to the track. At one point they sing, “Left Eye would want us to break it down” and “Left Eye gets a moment of silence,” and it makes one wonder what Left Eye could have done with the otherwise lifeless track. Of all the songs assembled in the aftermath of Left Eye’s death, it’s a shame that the remaining members only managed to scrape up four performances by the late rapper (a few rhymes are awkwardly inserted into the midtempo last track “Give It to Me While It’s Hot”). In many ways, it’s a sad reminder of how little of Left Eye’s work made the final cut on TLC’s last two albums.
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: