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Jennifer Lopez - Love?

Jennifer Lopez, Love?

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

I’VE long been a subscriber to the view that the biggest beneficiaries of the whole American Idol/X Factor/Britain’s Got Talent ‘phenomenon’ continue to be the judges themselves.

Witness Simon Cowell’s billions, Cheryl Cole’s celebrity status and David Hasselhoff’s career boost. Now, Jennifer Lopez has used her stint as a sympathetic American Idol judge to secure one of her biggest musical hits for some time.

Love? is one of her most successful releases for some time, seeing her top the charts around the world with its singles and catapulting her back near the sort of status that Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Ke$ha currently enjoy.

The formula, though, is pretty derivative – big floor-filler anthems that lean towards the tacky Miami club scene, replete with throbbing beats, euphoric synths and a who’s who of producing talent.

Taio Cruz and Stargate combine to create one of her hits (I’m Into You), Lady Gaga weaves her magic wand over two, while other producers include Tricky Stewart, The-Dream, Danja, D-Mile and Radio.

The ensuing album is as high energy as you might expect and very aware of what it takes to form a monster club/chart hit. It’s also pretty soulless.

The standard is set from the outset with the Pitbull featuring On The Floor, which deftly combines a sample of Gonzales Hermosa’s Llorando Se Fue with Pitbull’s rapping and an Ibiza sounding synth loop. It’s a guilty pleasure but the definition of disposable R’n’B/pop.

And likewise the remainder of the album flits between catchy dance-floor fillers and same-sounding floor-fillers… all delivered with enough feisty attitude to enhance Lopez’s undoubted diva status.

Indeed, the only time you get anything close to intimacy or introspection comes on the mid-tempo Starting Over, one of only a couple of out and out highlights.

The other comes in the form of the Gaga penned Invading My Mind, which unsurprisingly could belong on Gaga’s own album. So, you can expect foot-stomping beats, glam-rock-dance elements and gargantuan synths.

Papi drops an emphatic beat and some swirling synths that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Fast & Furious soundtrack while referencing Madonna’s sound, and (What Is) Love? flirts with genuine emotional depth. But both, while providing two more guilty pleasures, smack of the generic vibe that is an overriding feature of the album.

Hence, Love? is a solid dance record but also one that struggles to stay in the memory for very long after it’s finished. From Lopez, you should really expect better.

Download picks: Starting Over, (What Is) Love?, Invading My Mind

Track listing:

  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