Flashback To The 90’s: TLC’s Fanmail Album Turns 20!
It’s undeniable the craze over the 90’s is still in effect with tv reboots on the table, reconstructions of classic movies, and our favorite music hitting milestones. Among this wave, it’s important to note that just recently that the infamous group, TLC’s third album “Fanmail” has marked 20 years so far. This album is ranked as their second highest grossing in sales, after “CrazySexyCool”, and had a major influence over the culture. Drake even put his spin on the track FanMail with a song titled I Get Lonely Too in 2010.
“Fanmail” kicked out chart topping hits such as No Scrubs, Unpretty, Dear Lie, Silly Ho, and My Life. I don’t believe there is any karaoke night where at least one person doesn’t attempt to perform No Scrubs. Aside from the commercial success of the singles, the album as a whole is a creative masterpiece with the electronic theme perfectly embodying the technology era of that time. Also not to forget the entertaining interludes (Whispering Playa being by far the funniest). It’s an album for everyone to enjoy, but more so for women looking for empowerment and understanding.
The track Silly Ho calls out men seeking out women to do whatever they want and the women that fall into those categories. No Scrubs gives a big middle finger to guys that have no money and still attempt to date women, basically sending the message that they should get their ducks in a row before coming at them. My Life is relatable to anyone pronouncing control over their own life. I’m Good At Being Bad switches between a soft melody and fantismal lyrics to a hard beat and raunchy lyrics, exploring two sides of womanhood. Unpretty sends us a powerful message about self image and self love with a just as powerful music video to accompany it.
On a softer note, the album also has a more emotional side with tracks such as Dear Lie, I Miss You So Much, Come On Down, and Don’t Pull Out On Me Yet. If you’re new to the album, one of these songs is bound to make you cry or slow dance. Each of them exploring heartbreak, love, and intimacy.
While the album can stand alone with just the music, it would be irresponsible to not mention the visuals behind it. The outfit designs and music video themes were outstanding. Fans wanted to wear leather with reflective lights attached or go for a more spiritual or earthy look. It’s also no secret that T-Boz and Chilli have mentioned in numerous interviews that the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez was the brain behind a lot of the costume styles, further solidifying the group as a powerhouse entity of style, vocals, and choreography.
Before Black History Month ends let’s honor one of the greatest black girl groups from the 90’s and revisit their classic album. For all of those who may not be familiar, enjoy! Rest in peace forever Left Eye!