TLC

25 of the Best Sophomore Albums Ever Made

You know how it goes: a band or a musician puts out a stellar first album, receives heaps of praise and success, and then goes back to the recording studio and turns out a second album. What a bummer, it’s not as good. But is this trend a real thing, or just a myth fueled by how disappointed we, as listeners and critics, can be when artists’ albums don’t live up to our expectations? What follows shows that plenty of great artists were able to avoid the sophomore slump — and, in some cases, turned out the best album of their careers.… Read More

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10 Songs Whose Sexual Politics Are More Troubling Than “Blurred Lines”

The controversy over Robin Thicke’s odious “Blurred Lines” is going to be one of those stories that just runs and runs, by the looks of it — just when everyone had started to forget about it, there was the whole VMAs debacle to remind everyone of the song’s unpleasant lyrics and general air of rapeyness. Apparently a student union in Edinburgh has banned the song completely, a move that raises all sorts of questions over the efficacy and ethics of censorship, but whether or not you support expunging it from the airwaves entirely, there’s no doubt that its take on sexual politics is thoroughly questionable. Still, there’s a whole lot of other songs you hear almost as often that are even more troubling. Like these ones, for instance. … Read More

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Awesome Behind-the-Scenes Photos From the Sets of Famous Music Videos

In the course of writing about the director’s cut of the “Heart-Shaped Box” video yesterday, we came across a pretty great behind-the-scenes photo of Nirvana hanging out on set with the woman who appears in the video wearing a terrifying skinless fat suit. We’re very partial to such images here at Flavorwire, and we got to thinking that there must be more out there on the Internet. And indeed there are — so here’s a selection of some of the… Read More

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Listen to Lady Gaga’s Demo for a New TLC Song

For the trio’s upcoming greatest hits album, which is due out in October, the two remaining members of TLC will… Read More

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10 Great Music Videos With a Political Message

The nominations for MTV’s Video Music Awards were released this week, and amongst the usual shower of nondescript commercial bilge, there was the reminder that some artists are actually using their videos as a medium for something more than rump-shaking and product placement: the curious, three-year-old “Best Video with a Social Message” category, for which nominees include noted political commentators Beyoncé, Macklemore, and Kelly Clarkson. Although we can’t guarantee that any of this year’s crop will make any great impact on you, here are some excellent music videos — past and present — that just might.
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The Albums That Flavorwire Staffers Heard Too Early

Earlier this month, we surveyed Flavorwire central for a selection of the books we read too early. The responses we got were both informative and a whole lot of fun, so we decided we’d extend the concept into some of the other areas of culture that we enjoy here — starting with the world of music, and the albums that various staff members listened to at perilously tender ages. From the raunchy through the political to the mildly disconcerting, here are the albums that we listened to too early (including, curiously, not one but two Beatles records.) What are yours? … Read More

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Flavorwire Roundup: The First CDs We Ever Bought

Despite how easy it is to go online and quickly download an entire album in just a few seconds (which we are paying for, of course), there’s nothing particularly special in purchasing music from the ether. Gone are the days of driving to the mall to browse through the racks of CDs at Camelot Music and Sam Goody; no longer can we fill out multiple Columbia House order forms for seemingly free albums. CDs were the last physical music objects, and our first purchases say a lot about us as much and the time in which we grew up. (For the record, I like to tell everyone my first CD was the Reality Bites soundtrack, but it was, regrettably, the revival Broadway cast recording of Grease! featuring Brooke Shields as Rizzo.) I asked a few friends from across the Internet to share their first CD purchases. Click through after the jump, and share your stories in the comments!  … Read More

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20 Classic Female-Fronted Hip Hop Tracks

Oh, Rolling Stone. Sometimes you make it so easy. We try not to spend too much of our time nitpicking the amusingly out-of-touch pontifications of Jann Wenner’s empire, but occasionally something comes along that annoys us so much that it’s hard not to react. So it was recently, when the magazine’s editors came back from the mountain with stone tablets purporting to contain “The 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time.” In fairness, reading RS for hip hop recommendations is like reading Trucking Monthly for advice on bicycles, but even so, if you’re going to claim to make a definitive list, you don’t relegate Nas’s “NY State of Mind” to #31 (11 places behind 50 Cent’s risible “In Da Club”) — and, more annoyingly, you don’t make the mistake of including only three songs featuring female vocalists. … Read More

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TLC Making First New Album Since 2002

Today in news that will make 20-somethings feel old: It’s been ten years since the last TLC album. For real. 3D came out in 2002, six months after the death of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and since then, TLC have managed to continue their existence as a band without another full-length release. They’ve toured, performed… Read More

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