- Released: November 15, 1994
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Rolling Stone - 5/13/99, p.73
Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Spin - 9/99, p.144Ranked #51
in Spin Magazine's "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s."
Spin - 12/95, p.62Ranked #6
on Spin's list of the '20 Best Albums of '95.'
Entertainment Weekly - 11/18/94, p.104
"...filled with adult-female sexuality--although still not always of the most mature kind....hide-and-seek coyness is essential to TLC's attitude and allure....It would take a nation of millions to hold back the slinky 'Creep' from becoming a hit..." - Rating: B
Q - 12/99, p.84
Included in Q Magazine's "90 Best Albums Of The 1990s."
Q - 2/96, p.66
Included in Q's 50 Best Albums of 1995 - "...a helpful bridge across the soul/rap gender-split in contemporary black music..."
Uncut - 9/03, p.1263 stars out of 5
- "...A seductive fusion of R&B with hip hop..."
Melody Maker - 12/23-30/95, pp.66-67Ranked #40
on Melody Maker's list of 1995's 'Albums Of The Year.'
Melody Maker - 5/13/95, p.38
Bloody Essential - "...You just know that TLC...really are hyper-sassy B-girls out for a good time on their terms....predators in the sexual jungle who Know What They Want....Basically, TLC would kick En Vogue's ass in a fight....three times as sexy as Naomi and four times as nastayyy as Salt'N' Pepa....bootylicious..."
Village Voice (2/20/96) - Ranked #28
in Village Voice's 1995 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.
TLC: Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas (vocals).
Additional personnel includes: Sean "Puffy" Combs (spoken vocals); Chucky Thompson, Dallas Austin (various instruments); Shorty B, Craig Love (guitar); Martin Terry (acoustic & electric guitar); Jerry Lloyd, Charles Nix (horns); Arnold Hennings (keyboards, drums); Sir Dean Gant, Tim Kelley (keyboards); Kenneth Wright (Wurlitzer keyboard); Jon-John (synthesizer, drum programming); Carlos Glover, LaMarquis "Marq" Jefferson (bass); Organized Noize (programming); Sol Messiah (DJ); Bebe, Thomas "Cee-Lo" Burton, Jermaine Dupree (background vocals).
Producers include: Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, Babyface, Chucky Thompson, Organized Noize.
Engineers include: Jermaine Dupri, Alvin Speights, Leslie Brathwaite.
CRAZYSEXYCOOL won a 1996 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, and "Creep" won a 1996 Grammy for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal. "Creep" and "Red Light Special" were both nominated for Best R&B Song; "Waterfalls" was nominated for Record Of The Year and for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal.
The elements that had this precocious trio's debut album blasting out of playgrounds, top 40 radio stations and even rock critics' Walkmans are still here--infectious dance grooves, pop melodies and sassy raps that put '90s feminism into action.
But CRAZYSEXYCOOL also launches TLC from girlhood into youngwomanhood, with, on one hand, Janet Jackson-esque paens to sex ("Let's Do It Again") and, on the other, melodically downbeat ghetto ballads ("Waterfalls") that recall Stevie Wonder as a young man.
The scratchy world-weariness of the lead vocal in "Waterfalls" is one of several nods to classic soul singing. "Case Of The Fake People," written by Dallas Austin, alludes to the O'Jays' "Backstabbers," and "If I Was Your Girlfriend" is a cover of Prince at his most sincere (oddly unreversing his role reversal). And the single "Creep" is a "Dark End Of The Street" for the '90s, a cheating song that walks a tightrope between young love and revenge.