monday music trip:
waterfalls [TLC]

To this day I still don't know what it means to be chasing waterfalls. No one I asked has ever given a satisfactory explanation. And even more of a mystery is what it means to just stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to.

Listed by VH1 to be one of the 100 Greatest Songs of the 1990s, Waterfalls has got to be TLC's biggest hit. It was nominated for a Grammy, and won Video of the Year in the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards.

I've never been a TLC fan, but I used to love watching this video. The group's water clones were so spankin' spectacular, I think that's the reason they bagged Video of the Year. Those singing-dancing transparent versions of T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli - somewhat reminiscent of the lifeform in The Abyss (1989), i.m.o. - were the latest conquests of cutting-edge animation.

Besides that, there was 3++ minutes of skillful visual storytelling. In a style similar to what those old Aerosmith videos were known for, Waterfalls was like a movie trailer that got you curious for more.

Another significant thing about Waterfalls is the dance step - the movements were so minimal that it was easy for me and my girl friends to follow (Like I said in a previous post, the '90s were a great time for bad dancers). TLC made rhythmic shoulder-jerking look sexy, even in their raggedy CrazySexyCool getup (A note to kids of today: Those spunky TLC hairstyles were never exactly a big trend but were more like the group's signature style, so no need to imagine hordes of people walking around looking like that ;> ).

Last bit of trivia: Waterfalls was shot in a set in Universal Studios. What looks like a sea disappearing into the horizon was in reality a raised platform covered with water, with a trompe l'oeil backdrop. Yup, that balmy, blue sky with the feathery clouds was all just an expanse of painted plywood; the "sunlight" was mostly electric. Really clever, yeah? (But wait... waterfalls = sea? Mixing metaphors much?)
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