Or your hair's too long
Or your eyes too wide
Or your head's too strong
Either you got too much
Or you got too less
Either you're under woman
Or you're over dressed (ha!)
All those opinion's gonna make you fake
Go on and brush it off it's just dead weight
Only thing that matters that you need to know
You'll only find it in your heart and soul
CrazySexyCool is TLC's most successful and most critically acclaimed album, which makes it all the strange it was somewhat of a Troubled Production in recording. Member Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes was stuck in rehab after burning down the mansion of her then boyfriend football player Andre Rison (It's a Long Story...) and couldn't be released often to record. The group themselves owed money to several producers and managers. Despite this, TLC would stick it through and with the help of producers such as Babyface, Organized Noize, Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, and Sean Combs, they would record and release to be what is considered their greatest work.
CrazySexyCool was one of The '90s' top selling albums; peaking at #3 on the Billboard 200 Album chart in the United States. it would hit #5 on the Year-End chart in 1995, and stay at #22 on the 1996 Year-End chart. It would eventually end up selling 14 million records worldwide, making TLC the first—and so far only—American Girl Group to have a record that was certified Diamond by the RIAA. It would finish #25 on the Decade-End Billboard Top 200 chart for the '90s.
The album was supported by four singles: "Creep", "Red Light Special", "Waterfalls", and "Diggin' On You". All were Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, with "Creep" and "Waterfalls" both hitting #1. The music video for "Waterfalls" would become enormous on MTV, and would win four Moonmen at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards, including overall Video of the Year.
Track listing (standard edition)
- "Intro-Lude" (featuring Phife Dawg) (1:01)
- "Creep" (4:29)
- "Kick Your Game" (4:13)
- "Diggin' on You" (4:14)
- "Case of the Fake People" (4:03)
- "CrazySexyCool (interlude)" (1:42)
- "Red Light Special" (5:02)
- "Watefalls" (4:39)
- "Intermission-Lude" (0:42)
- "Let's Do It Again" (4:17)
- "If I Was Your Girlfriend" (4:43)
- "Sexy (interlude) (1:35)
- "Take Our Time" (4:33)
- "Can I Get a Witness (interlude)" (featuring Busta Rhymes) (2:57)
- "Switch" (3:30)
- "Sumthin' Wicked This Way Comes" (featuring Andre 3000 of OutKast) (4:23)
"I pray all ten fade away, seldom praise Him for the sunny tropes"
- Absentee Actor: Left-Eye only appears on four tracks due to being sentenced to probation/rehab. Her absence allowed T-Boz and Chilli to take the album into more of a Contemporary R&B direction.
- B-Side: "My Secret Enemy", a Left Eye solo track that was left out the final tracklisting, but made it onto "Red Light Special"'s single release.
- Cover Version: "If I Was Your Girlfriend", originally from Prince. The Artist gave them permission to record the cover (something he rarely does), and he would end up being a huge TLC fan.
- Darker and Edgier: The music and visuals moved from TLC's previous upbeat sound and silly lyrics to a smoother, sensual style. Exemplified in "Waterfalls", with subject matter such as gang killings and unsafe sex and HIV/AIDS being tackled.
- Genre Shift: The group's debut album Ooooooohhh... On the TLC Tip was mostly New Jack Swing mixed in with Hip-Hop; CrazySexyCool would lean closer towards R&B and Hip Hop Soul.
- Horrorcore: "My Secret Enemy", written and recorded almost immediately after Left Eye's accidental arson, heavily flirts with horrorcore elements without getting too greusome, which likely led to it being cut from the main album for being too dark.
- Hotter and Sexier: While TLC did have a somewhat sexual image for their first album, it was mostly tongue-in-cheek. This is the album that made sex symbols out of all three of the women, and there's several songs dedicated to sex and sexuality.
- Intercourse with You: It would be easier to name that songs on the album not about this. Even "Waterfalls" has an understated take on this trope:She gives him lovin' that his body can't handle
But all he can say is "Baby is good to me"
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Left's Eye's injuries caused from accidentally burning down then-boyfriend Andre Rison's mansion led to both her noticeable absence from the majority of the album due to being in rehab, and the recording of "My Secret Enemy", which addressed the Rison incident.
- "Creep" samples "Hey Young World" by Slick Rick.
- "Switch" has a sample of "Mr. Big Stuff" by Jean Knight.
- Scare 'Em Straight:
- Downplayed, Waterfalls is about being careful and trying to avoid danger, no matter how glamorous it looks. Such as a waterfall, which is beautiful, but also deadly should you fall from it.
- The Untouchables' remix of "Creep" plays the trope straighter, which includes a verse from Left Eye warning the listener about the consequences of cheating, up to, and including, contracting HIV.
- A Wild Rapper Appears!: Busta Rhymes, Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest, and Andre 3000 of OutKast make appearances on the album.