Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins is a favorite around 2020k. In fact, all three girls of TLC are. With the close of Watkins’ reality show Totally T-boz (which ironically & hysterically aired on TV channel TLC), a charity single and kickoff to the 20th reunion of TLC/T-boz solo music entitled “Champion” has been released.
Sonically, the song is comprised of nicely balanced, standard percussion samples that have various delay effects incorporated into them. These delays work wonders for the stereo image, as they bounce the sounds from the left and right channels, giving a sense of movement and even more rhythmic structure.
Despite T-boz’ signature funk sounding low and raspy tone being present on the verses of “Champion”, they’re stripped away during the equalization process – leaving the song brighter sounding. At times, because of the focus in high frequencies, “Champion” can get a tiny bit busy in the high-end of the song. Unfortunately, this causes a loss in the potential warmth that Watkin’s first proper solo endeavor could be, but her smooth (and dare we say cool) vocal layers and harmonies embrace the song enough to wrap you up in emotional sincerity and tenderness.
Lyrically, “Champion” strongly keeps on-par with the accessible, triumphant anthems of TLC’s back catalog, specifically recalling Fanmail’s “Unpretty” [Youtube] and 3D’s beautiful deep-cut “Get Away” [Youtube]. Tionne has fought Sickle Cell Anemia her entire life, and even more recently a Brain Tumor, so it makes sense that a matured independence would be felt on the first official release of the legendary singer. “It seems they underestimated you again. Don’t let them think they’ve got the upper hand again. Show ’em what you’re made of. ”
#3 who mixed the same person who mixed Waterfalls Unpretty so um let me drive this car I dont need bk seat drivers lol
— Tionne T-Boz Watkins (@TheRealTBOZ) January 22, 2013
Tionne has taken to Twitter to defend the mixing of the track. Sadly, she shouldn’t have to. Somewhere out there, there seems to be some backlash against the methodology behind the mixing of this song, but we’re unsure of where they’re coming from. There’s an interesting dip in sound at the first bridge of the song because of the lack of reverberation tails, but it’s the only subjective creative decision that makes the sonic spectrum unstable. The iTunes download of T-boz’s track sits at an less than alright dynamic range of 5dB, but the appealing structure of levels and balance in sounds more than makes up for this lack.
Structurally, it’s less instrumentally layered than a typical song in TLC’s legacy, but it adds to the independent vibe of the song. As far as “Champion” is concerned, it’s carrying on the torch of TLC’s legacy in a positive way (as opposed to this capitalization) and is a strong dive into January 2013 released music.
With the release of a TLC biopic being thought out and filmed, a tour in the works, and possible new material from the surviving members of this flawless group, we hope to see what else goes on in the world of T-boz, as well as TLC as a whole, in the next coming months and years.
All downloads of “Champion” are dedicated to children with blood diseases such as Sickle Cell Anemia and Leukemia. Download funds will be donated to various charities that support these unfortunate illnesses. (Thank you to Nathan Histed, who also designed the cover of this single, for these details).
Purchase “Champion” by Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins [iTunes]