It’s been seven years since the tragic death of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. But EYE-Legacy—the posthumous solo debut from the Grammy Award–winning group TLC’s most dynamic and outspoken member—makes it feel like she never left.
Backed by the upbeat and bouncy production efforts of Boston’s Mass Appeal collective, much of Left Eye’s previously recorded material manages to come off feeling current. Whether rockin’ with Chamillionaire and Bone Crusher (“Bounce”) or collaborating with Lil Mama (“Block Party”), the late lyricist sounds in tune with today’s rap set.
In true TLC fashion, the triumphant “Spread Your Wings” offers a message of hope tastefully sandwiched between motivating melodic choruses, with Left Eye rhyming, “Never suicide, that’s the easy route/There’s always another way out.” But it’s the self-examining “Listen” that truly showcases Ms. Lopes’s spiritual growth, as she urges fans to take heed to their inner voice.
Chock-full of introspection, social commentary and inspirational wisdom, EYE-Legacy is a testament to Left Eye’s untapped talent. Ultimately, unfinished-sounding tracks, like “In the Life,” and the overall lack of continuity make it hard not to wonder what the rapping third of TLC’s disc would have sounded like had she been here to complete it herself. Now that would’ve been crazy, sexy, cool. —JONATHAN BONANNO