TLC – Creep

First Hit #1: January 28, 1995

TLC is deceptively aggressive, and their first single captures the subtle lightning that defines the group. It sounds like a smooth bit of R&B, with the gentle, hip hop inspired beat and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins silky vocal. Subject wise, however, it’s about revenge sex, which isn’t quite as smooth and seductive as the different elements of the song might suggest. It’s not obvious, the words are slurred enough that without rapt attention there’s no clear idea what is being sung, but once you catch what the song is about it stands in sharp contrast to the relatively slick sound that is being produced. The message is odd – I’m not quite sure what the protagonist really hopes to accomplish here – and the group eventually had better examples of how to really define a take-no-prisoners attitude in a surprisingly pleasant form. As the intro to the group, it works, because it connects the slick sound they are capable of with an image that has a bit more edge than that sound would suggest, but it’s all kind of muddled. Not everyone in the group liked the song, in particular the group’s resident live wire Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez thought that the woman of the song would be better served just leaving her cheating boyfriend. She’s got a point, but emotional manipulation, as described, is a bit more of a hook than a straight up breakup song.

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One Response to TLC – Creep

  1. RBerman says:

    Girl power makes its strongest play since the days for Cyndi Lauper. Pink and Beyoncé should say, “Thank you.” Janet and Paula should also take note that thrift store jeans and T-shirts can move units.

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