Jennifer Lopez – Love?

May 29, 2011 at 7:26 PM | Posted in Jennifer Lopez | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Jennifer Lopez – Love?

1. On The Floor (feat. Pitbull)
2. Good Hit
3. I’m Into You (feat. Lil’ Wayne)
4. (What Is) Love?
5. Run The World
6. Papi
7. Until It Beats No More
8. One Love
9. Invading My Mind
10. Villain
11. Starting Over
12. Hypnotico

♦ ♦ ♦

Love? is the seventh studio album by American singer/actress Jennifer Lopez, released by Island Def Jam (after her breakup with Sony Music Entertainment) on April 28, 2011. The first single ‘On The Floor (feat. Pitbull)’ was very well received, while the album received mixed reviews. The album did reach the #1 spot in Switzerland and Czech.

On The Floor (feat. Pitbull) is a very hot song, and even though I might not always be in for dancy club songs, I seem to like this one very much. I immediately recognized ‘Llorando se fue’ by Los Kjarkas as the melody in the song, something that makes this song even more fun for me. The addition of Pitbull is tremendously good, he adds a lot of spice, and JLo’s vocals aren’t bad either. Really like this song.

Good Hit is a mixture of heavy bass R&B music and autotuned vocals to make it a little more dancy. For the first time, JLo is actually talk-singing a bit on her albums, and she can get away with it pretty easy (take that, Ke$ha). The ‘lalalala’s in the background melody is very pleasant in the chorus, adding a little musicality to it. The start of the chorus may be a little bit too simple, but when she starts to sing the title words with those ‘lalala’s in the back, the chorus is saved.

Haven’t heard from Lil’ Wayne in a while, and I definitely wouldn’t have imagined him collaborating with Jennifer, but it’s actually happening on I’m Into You (feat. Lil’ Wayne). It’s another R&B song, a little bit island-flavored, with very interesting and catchy hooks. Lil’ Wayne throws some clever wordplay around in his lyrics, and this is another song that is a bit simple but I actually like it pretty much.

(What Is) Love? serves as the title track for the album and it’s a laid back version of a dance/pop song, it’s not dominant yet it features some nice beats and synths. JLo was right when she said this album features her best vocals to date, here she gives another performance that really nailed it. Producer D’Mile did a very good job on the musical arrangement here, very attractive melodies here. Diana Gordon and Emile Dernst II did a good job on the pretty lyrics.

No idea who opened Run The World, but that guy with the deep vocals really set the tone for this hiphop song. Jennifer always sticks to her earlier roots a bit, but now she is throwing her talk-singing skills around again instead of just singing her lyrics. Her vocals are simple yet beautiful, and I love the typical beats in this song.

Papi was the promotional song for the album, and I must say this is the sixth very catchy song in a row. I like the fact that RedOne collaborated on this one, since I’m very fond of his work. This song is dance/pop again, but it has such an addictive chorus! ‘Move your body, move your body, dance for your papi’. The melody reminds me of an older song from the 90s. JLo’s Spanish spoken lyrics in the bridges were long expected concidering the title, but the song overall was very nice.

Until It Beats No More is, as I expected, a midtempo song, and it immediately appealed to me with a nice piano melody and a R&B beat with handclaps. The lyrics are also very beautiful if you listen very closely, the songwriters certainly gave it their best shot. The one thing that surprised me the most were JLo’s impressive vocals here, she hits pretty high notes while belting out her lyrics.

I’m glad that the dance/pop songs on this album aren’t all that ubiquitous on this album, lucky for me JLo throws some nice R&B on me too, multiple times. One Love is also a very nice and simple song with very good percussion rolls now and then. Nice fun fact: this is the only song on the album Jennifer co-wrote, and she did a pretty nice job here indeed.

Invading My Mind is clearly a creation by RedOne and Lady Gaga concidering the music, great that Jennifer teamed up with them for this song. I don’t know how they did it, but together with JLo they created a very infectuous track with an outstanding chorus. This song is club ready and I like the melody very much, it tends to get stuck in your head all day long.

Villain is a good track, but not my favorite at all to be honest. It has its moments, but most of the time it’s just a bit too ‘meh’ for me. It’s more of a mysterious track for the album, and unfortunately it doesn’t really feature that certain amount of catchyness the previous songs did. The song doesn’t have a highlight, it just kinda stays right there in the middle. Apart from all of that, I definitely don’t hate this, it’s still a nice creation.

Luckily, Starting Over immediately adopts a nice feelgood ambience with even a nice viola arrangement in the back that I liked very much. I recognized Wynter Gordon as the backup vocalist, another nice fun fact here. The instruments in this song took the result to a higher level, and if you take one of those instruments out, this song would be an entire mess. Nobody can touch this, lovely song.

The last song is another creation by RedOne, Akon and Lady Gaga, among others. Hypnotico features some nice pumping beats and, ofcourse, a catchy melody in the chorus. The hook, in which Jennifer sings the title words, are also very good parts to sing for the rest of the day. It’s a worthy closure for the (standard edition of) the album, you can’t sit still to this one. At least, I didn’t.

Wow, I am so surprised by how good this album was! I wasn’t a great fan of Jennifer’s, but because of this I might give her earlier work another chance again (although her style changed a bit for this album). It was very good to hear that this album turned out better than I would’ve expected from reading the professional reviews by AllMusic and The Los Angeles Times for example, which both gave this album only two stars… To me, Jennifer has delivered her best work to date, and she was right when she said this album also features her best vocals. Almost every song featured very catchy and addictive melodies, nice lyrics and pretty arrangements, so Jennifer is very lucky to have teamed up with the bets people in the business. She can be very proud of herself, this album can become a big succes in time.

Favorite songs: On The Floor (feat. Pitbull) | I’m Into You (feat. Lil’ Wayne) | Run The World | Papi | Until It Beats No More | One Love | Starting Over | Hypnotic

OVERALL RATING

4½ stars

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