In 1999, Blaque, an R&B/pop trio discovered by the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, landed hit singles with “808″ and “Bring It All to Me” from their self-titled platinum debut. The young group’s follow-up, Blaque Out, was a bit of a wash-out. Now, less than 18 months later, Blaque are back with a new look and a new label, and they’ve hired some big guns to help them out.
Their as-yet-untitled third album, which comes out in August on Elektra, will feature production by Missy Elliott, Rodney Jerkins, Linda Perry, Warryn Campbell, Wylee and Jazz. And the ladies (Shamari Fears, Brandi Williams and Natina Reed) have made themselves over as super-sexy but sophisticated vixens in the vein of En Vogue.
The record’s first single is “Ugly,” which was produced by Elliott, who worked on five of the LP’s 14 tracks. The upbeat party song features her trademark clicking, syncopated beats, a two-note hookline and wicked lyrics about a less-than-stellar-looking dude who fancies himself a ladies’ man. “Hey boy/ I don’t mean to be rude/ But the way you comin’ on/ Makes me catch an attitude/ You wanna know what the deal/ Well what’s up with your grill/ ‘Cuz you ugly/ So please stop talking junk in my ear.”
The other Elliott-produced cuts are “Freakazoid,” “Nappy Dugout,” “Dat’s Right” and the bonus track “No Ganksta.”
“Her Name” is a tribute to TLC’s Left Eye, who died last year while on vacation in Honduras (see “Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes Killed In Car Accident” ). The honey-sweet club cut was produced by Campbell, who also helmed the ballad “If It Was Me.”
Perry and Jerkins worked on two songs each. Perry tackled the poppy “It’s Not Me” and “Love Em Down” and Jerkins handled the reggae and Latin-tinged lead number, “Blaque Out,” and the slow ballad “Fall Back.” Wylee produced the soulful “Deeper (Try Harder)” and Jazz worked on the bubbly pop track “Fall Through.”