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Monday, November 28, 2022

Xscape – Traces of My Lipstick (1998) Album Review

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Jelisa M.
Jelisa is a lover of all music, but 90's R&B has a special place in her heart. She considers the 90's a groundbreaking era for black entertainment that should be celebrated more. "Music is my love language and movies are my mistress."

Album Review Traces of My Lipstick, the final & third album that was released with all 4 members is possibly one of my favorite albums from Xscape. TOML gave the listeners some of Xscape’s most sultry hits that showed the growth from the first two albums. Although there was drama behind the scenes with LaTocha being offered a solo deal, the world would have never known with the hits that this album gave us. 

The singles released from this album are some of my favorite Xscape hits. The ballad written by the legend Diane Warren “The Arms of the One Who Loves You” is still one of my favorite songs to sing during car karaoke. This song is such a masterpiece! I love how it just gradually grows until you hit that bridge where they give full Baptist choir vocals. Every time I see the video it takes me back to the day I first saw it & I kept the tv on BET trying to catch it again so I could record it on VHS. 

“My Little Secret” made being a side chick sexy af! I never realized they were singing about being with someone’s else’s man until I got older, I thought they were singing about keeping their “relationship” a secret from the public, not keeping them laying it low & spreading it wide for someone’s else’s man a secret. Xscape gave us the original “sneaky link” anthem before there was a “sneaky link”. They gave us good storytelling which is missing in the music industry now. “Did anybody see ya, come into my house last night?” Soon as you hear those lyrics you visualize your sneaky link creeping in trying not to wake your baby in the next room with your neighbor peeking through the peep hole. 

Why ya’ll didn’t run the numbers up for “Softest Place on Earth” when they dropped it as a single? In my opinion it’s the best song on the album. It’s one of those songs you play while laying up under the stars with your boo. The song feels so GOOD when it come on, & I love Tiny’s vocals during the bridge. Although the Atlantic Starr cover “Am I Dreaming” is a single released by Ol’ Skool it’s another favorite Xscape cut for me. Their voices blended so well together & I hate we didn’t get more from them.

Overall this is a pretty fire album & let me put “All I Need” out there because that song feels like a bottle of your favorite wine. Tiny’s vocals on there are ridiculously amazing. Regardless of the drama behind the mics, the ladies came together & gave us some timeless hits that we’ll be playing on our porch sitting in our rocking chair telling the kids “NOW THIS IS MUSIC!”

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