Review The Artist (17)
Sultry. Seductive. Insinuating. Knowing. Soulful. Sexy. Womanly. Xscape.
On Traces Of My Lipstick, Xscape's third full-length album on So So Def Recordings, the "million dollar girl group" from Atlanta, Georgia, has created an album that is Xscape's most mature and provocative to-date, filled with an emotional depth that speaks to the quartet's growth both as performers and as women.
Brimming with uptempo grooves and slinky, heartfelt ballads examining love in all it's complexities, Traces Of My Lipstick offers solid proof that LaTocha Scott, her sister Tamika, Kandi Burruss and Tameka "Tiny" Cottle have staked their claim as one of the premier female vocal groups of the 90's.
Traces Of My Lipstick is the long awaited follow-up to the group's platinum 1995 RIAA-platinum release Off The Hook, and if you ask the members of Xscape why it took nearly three years for new music, the answer is simple. "We wanted to take our time and give our fans something real," Tiny explains. "It was important that this time we had the right sound, the right songs and the right approach."
Part of the right approach was to reach out to members of the music community, many of whom Xscape had never worked with before. On Traces Of My Lipstick, Xscape join forces with some of the biggest and best practitioners of urban/pop today: the group's longtime creator/collaborator/mentor Jermaine Dupri, Daryl Simmons, Babyface, Keith Sweat, Joe, and Diane Warren. Warren, who has penned number one hits for Toni Braxton ("Unbreak My Heart") and Monica ("For You I Will") gave Xscape the soaring and reflective first single "The Arms Of The One Who Loves You." "We all really like her music and the way that she expresses herself," explains Kandi. LaTocha adds, "working with someone like Diane Warren certainly raises our game to another level... which is exactly why we wanted to work with her."
Among Traces Of My Lipstick's highlights are the smash single "Am I Dreaming," which features the hot vocal act Ol Skool and was produced by Keith Sweat; the gentle harmonies of "The Softest Place On Earth," written and produced by R&B star Joe; and "All I Need," which was produced by Xscape's Tamika Scott.
Although ballads have always been part of the group's vocal repertory (who can forget the haunting hit "Who Can I Run To?" from Off The Hook?), this time around the women of Xscape wanted to slow things down, even more. But don't worry, Xscape can still rock the party... just check out the lips-smacking "All About Me," written and produced by Jermaine Dupri. But the overall tone of Traces Of My Lipstick is moodier, mellower, and much more mature. "It seems that this time, we were in the frame of mind to record ballads," explains Tiny. "And coincidentally, a lot of the tracks we liked were also ballads. So, without even really planning on this being a more serious record, that's exactly what it became!"
"Plus people have to remember that it's been five years since "Just Kickin It" (the group's first platinum single)," smiles LaTocha. "We're women, we've got families, we see things and relationships in different ways than we did back then. So it only makes sense that our material would be more sophisticated and, well, grown up!"
Part of that maturity can be felt in Traces Of My Lipstick's understated theme: that of love from the perspective of the woman and the point-of-view of the other woman. The imagery and provocative nature of the phrase "Traces Of My Lipstick" is meant to raise eyebrows and make people think. "It's pretty powerful, that whole idea of being the woman who's being cheated on," explains LaTocha, "and it's also pretty deep to be the woman who's doing the cheating! And without giving too much of our business away, you can say that we know both sides... intimately."
That sense of intimacy, combined with superlative harmonies and undeniable appeal, have helped make Xscape one of the biggest and most popular R&B singing acts of the decade. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, these childhood friends first gave the world a taste of their soulful sound with their 1993 debut Hummin' Comin' At 'Cha. The CD, which boasted the hit singles "Just Kickin' It" and "Understanding," went platinum and quickly established Xscape as a force to be reckoned with.
That success was eclipsed by their explosive sophomore CD Off The Hook, which was released in 1995. Like it's predecessor, Off The Hook would go platinum while yielding three gold hits, "Feels So Good," "Who Can I Run To?" and "Do You Want To."
With the marketplace seemingly glutted with interchangeable girl groups, the career of Xscape is well-worth noting. With the confidence and skills that can only come from seasoned, savvy experience, Xscape have come up with what the group's strongest, most personal and soulful CD to date. Ask Xscape to sum up the vibe of Traces Of My Lipstick and there is no hesitation: "It's who we are. It's us as women, lovers, mothers and singers."
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God don't like ugle | Reviewer: miss betty | 4/30/13
tiny kik the haters to i I love yo you in my my man tip even though I oldenu e to be his mother that's my .mam. m. . . so you just keep him happy and we are good god bless you and your family
Why | Reviewer: Fan | 3/8/13
I wonder what the hell Tiny do to her lips???? i guess T.I wanted a women with thick lips but the wrong way to do it babe!!!!! all u had to do is keep giving him head now they are deformed!!!!
Hey | Reviewer: Nikki | 5/9/10
I love you all and may God be the number one reason you live and to what you do. Only what God think is what matter now and later so impress him. Praise God and spread his word and give your testimonies. Continue what you are doing and only change to do the will of The Lord. God bless and Love you
what happened to tiny | Reviewer: skye | 4/15/10
i loved this group back in the day. I just googled to try and find out what the hell is wrong with Tiny's mouth/lips whatever the hell. Money make people do dumb things. I guess after you have the man, money and babies thats the only thing she had left to spend money on. Buy groceries next time. Im sure TIP loves to eat.
my favryts | Reviewer: al amen | 3/9/10
i just lurv dis group,ever since i was a child i learnt to liten to them sing from my elder sister,now i miss my best artists , how can we get em back to give us the missing flavour in music...love u gals
Just Kickin It | Reviewer: Salina Lewis | 12/13/09
I went to Tri-Cities in East Point GA with Kandi,Tameka and Tasha. I went to my family reunion in Georgia 2007 and ran into my other cousin Ms Maddox who told me she would be joining the group Xscape. I went to elementary school with Lakeisha Miles.Heard her brothers rendition of BabyFace. I found out that I was related to Tameka and Tasha Scott.I also met Anita, she is very nice. I love you s Xscape and I'm proud to say that I am apart of the Craft Family. Holla
ms rd | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/2/09
well i love tiny she my faviorite and all these other stupied cooments is carzy...but what i dont like is what she did to her dam mouth she need to fix that shit real quick.. i kno she got money idk what the hell is going on
My Blessing | Reviewer: Mz.Boola | 10/12/09
I love u ladies just proud to see u all are still putting God first and made it threw life we all have our ups and downs and kandi my heart go out to u for ur lost God will see u threw the hard times and I will buy that new cd to the other ladies may God be with u a fan for life
mz.coogi | Reviewer: april | 9/10/09
too me i think that everybody haten off t.i and tiny relationship!!!that is soo childish i mean they together and all this stuff that people is putting on here to make them brake up yall looking and feeling real stupid because they not gon break up thats really stuip damn get the fuck up out ther relationship i swear that there is haters every where!!!!!!!!!and they is gon be together reguardless so yall feel stupid
come back your fans love you | Reviewer: email@example.com | 4/30/09
I love Xscape.I wish they would come back together.Tiny Iam sorry to hear about your and TI's baby girl that is really sad.Tiny keep your head up.Tiny you are my fav out of all the girls in Xscape,try to get them together so Xscape can come back.Tiny keep them bitchs off of TI.
Xscape | Reviewer: Shaneequa | 10/23/07
I luv every one in xscape they can sing but bitches do need to get off my nigga tiny though just cuz she's wit t.i bitch get over it u can't have him hahahaha
sexy's united | Reviewer: jamillah gravely | 9/24/07
i dont think that xscape waz a good group i think they waz an excellent group among others they had the right voices style and their character waz amazing they also made big hits that still get played today i wish the can all reuinte and come out with sum then again my most favorite iz tiny she waz pretty and had that extra that made her stand out the most
Miss You! | Reviewer: Tee | 8/2/07
I am a big fan and have always enjoyed the music of Xscape. Each member brought her own individual style to the group and they also complemented each other well. I was shocked the day I heard the group was dismantling. Currently there aren't any successfully recognized girl groups out there. My wish is that someday they will return, if only for a reunion CD. I would love to see them perform, once again as a group.
I know that Kandi is a writer and producer. I hope the others are involved in successful endeavours.
God Bless each of you.
What I call sexy | Reviewer: LE-YO | 7/24/07
I Luv evreybody you all are sexy.My faveroite songs were Tonight,Is my living in vain, understanding, Just kick`it,Can't hang ,One of those luv songs& Little secret. Luv ya sexy BITCHES.
xscape | Reviewer: southside finest | 7/21/07
i luv evry1 in xscape exept 4 tiny. just cuz she has t.i. now she thinks she all dat but she not u dont deserv him i do
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