Picks and Pans Review: Crazysexycool

updated 12/05/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/05/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

TLC

Decked out with trendy Day-Glo sportswear and condoms as accessories, this trio burst onto the scene in 1992 with their near triple-platinum debut album, Ooooooohhh...on the TLC Tip. Then, last June, their rapper Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes made headlines for another reason: She was charged with felony arson for allegedly torching the mansion of her boyfriend, Atlanta Falcons wide-receiver Andre Rison, and TLC's future seemed uncertain. If the threesome—which includes singers T-Boz Watkins and Chilli Thomas—can survive Lopes's legal mess and continue to create records as satisfying as their second effort, TLC might have a long career ahead.

The sharp funk and libidinous R&B of CrazySexyCool easily outgrooves its predecessor's sloganeering bubblegum hip hop. Those snaky bass lines on "Kick Your Game" and "Switch" could move the world's laziest couch potato, and "Creep," the first single, captures Watkins's husky voice in top slinky, slithering form. She's easily the best thing about TLC. Though Lopes's raps are appropriately sassy—if seriously underemployed here—Thomas's more generic croon fails to create any striking effect. But with Watkins out front, CrazySexyCool really lives up to its title. (LaFace)

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