Arts & Entertainment

A Time for Poptimism: Hit the Virtual Beach with TLC’s ‘CrazySexyCool’

Courtesy of LaFace Records"The smooth R&B pop album is a calming journey of summer catharsis," says A&E writer Alec Karam.

It’s 1994: Men tuck their oversized sweatshirts into their washed-out jeans; women sport crop tops and high-rise jeans, quite like the women of today… seems the ‘90s are back. Most importantly, TLC have dropped their second studio album “CrazySexyCool.”

Long before Fifth Harmony revolutionized working from home, pop and R&B girl group TLC stood tall as the definitive girl group of their time. Over twenty five years later, TLC’s legacy lives on through the album’s tentpole hit, “Waterfalls.” 

With this tumultuous summer leaving people stuck at home rather than on exotic vacations, perhaps TLC were providing ample warning when they pleaded with us not to go chasing waterfalls.

Since most of us can’t get to the beach, let “CrazySexyCool” virtually take you there. The smooth R&B pop album is a calming journey of summer catharsis. The album is 56 minutes of blissful tunes that could accompany any summer day. You don’t have to hit the beach to feel the euphoria emulating out of this record.

TLC’s “CrazySexyCool” was released in 1994.
Courtesy of LaFace Records

“Red Light Special” and “Kick Your Game” are bouncy, mellow songs great for decompressing on a late-night drive. Live vicariously through the album and let yourself feel like a character in a teen movie living an epic summer of highs and lows, even if the reality begs to differ.

With the magnitude of current events, between the coronavirus pandemic and protesting in support for the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s understandable if you need some lowkey music to unwind. Music can be healing and “CrazySexyCool” is a peaceful, melodic journey.

The sensual R&B beats flow like ocean waves with a tranquil atmosphere as though you’re actually at the beach and not hiding in your bedroom from your family.

Bop along to the exuberant “Switch” and add some joy to the bleakness of the day. Close your eyes and rest like you’re on a cloud to “Let’s Do It Again.” Sway to “Diggin’ On You” as you imagine yourself as a girl moving to a new town with your recently widowed mom. You’re shy but then you meet the popular boy and have a summer fling before he has to go off to war in 1955. The lyrics have absolutely nothing to do with that but the tone essentially is the same. 

The interludes dispersed throughout the album add some fun character and represent the time period of the album in a cutesy manner. “Sexy (Interlude)” offers some comedy with the album’s most energetic moment and it’s a nice laugh through this reflective summer jam. 

Lay back and reflect like you’re a beach-happy socialite who has no worries beyond snagging a spot on Page Six. “CrazySexyCool” is reminiscent of a summer’s day in every aspect. For just one hour, you too can transcend beyond this world of worries galore and enjoy summer like you’re supposed to. 

“CrazySexyCool” is available on all music streaming platforms.

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