Two months after the untimely death of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes in a Honduras car crash, surviving TLC members Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas have returned to the studio to resume work on their unfinished fourth studio album.
Grammy-winning songwriter-producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, who's producing the album, tells the Associated Press that the group has "held up pretty well" as they try to wrap up work on the disc. The album will include tracks recorded by Lopes and is tentatively set to be released this fall.
"They feel like they are doing it still in spirit with Lisa," he told the AP, adding that the recording process has been difficult at times. "There will be ups and downs throughout. There will be times when they'll feel it more than others."
Lopes was killed April 25 when her sport utility vehicle crashed in Honduras, where she often vacationed.
Lopes had been working on several projects before her death: There was talk of collaborations with everyone from Pink and Eve, to David Bowie, and she had been writing material for both her next solo disc and the next TLC album. Her spokesman, Jay Marose, said he had heard four finished tracks from the next TLC album and said "they're the best work they've ever done."
"[At one point] I think they really hit a rough patch and they just got back to a point where they were doing this for a love of TLC," he said.
Edmonds tells the AP that many of the songs were recorded with Lopes, so her voice will be heard throughout the album.
By all accounts, the release should be big: The Atlanta-based group has already sold more than 21 million copies and won four Grammys for their work on CrazySexyCool, FanMail and their 1991 debut, Ooooooohhh...On the TLC Tip.