Jennifer Lopez has got her groove back. After a dramatic return to the spotlight — due in large part to “American Idol” — the pop diva drops her long-stalled album “Love?” today (May 3), ushering in her first full-length release since 2008’s “Brave.”
Lopez’s life is anything but tumultuous these days — she’s got a full-time day job as “Idol’s” judge and resident glamour icon, and she’s a mother to twins and wife to fellow Latin superstar Marc Anthony. But on her seventh studio album, the singer/dancer/actress/entrepreneur channels the J.Lo of the early aughts, tackling love as a phenomenon that’s always evolving, growing, fading and rife for debate.
Lopez recruited plenty of hitmakers to help craft “Love?,” including R&B boundary-pushers The-Dream and Tricky Stewart, Norwegian duo Stargate and none other than Lady Gaga, who boasts two credits on the album (“Invading My Mind” and “Hypnotico”). Gaga’s frequent collaborator RedOne also produced the set’s lead single, “On the Floor” (featuring Pitbull), which helped kick-start Lopez’s musical comeback with a top 10 debut on the Billboard Hot 100.
How does the rest of “Love?” measure up? Here’s our Twitter-length track-by-track review of each song.
You be the judge: What do you think of J. Lo’s “Love?” album? Tweet us your own review at @billboarddotcom (using hashtag #bbjlo). The best tweets will be posted on Billboard.com in the coming days.
|1. “On the Floor” — Long overdue J.Lo/Pitbull collab reveals said floor’s versatility over crisp synths. Donkey Kong/Tonka Truck/Lambada nostalgia, anyone?|
|2. “Good Hit” – For the kids. “Pieces of Me”-esque Auto-Tune use and neck-snapping beat keeps momentum going nicely, but Nicki Minaj, Jennifer is not.|
|3. “I’m Into You” – Dancehall groove, breezy verses and come-hither hook is perfect for sun-soaked, summertime road trips. Weezy cameo FTW.|
|4. “(What Is) Love” – Older, wiser Jennifer channels love-addled J.Lo circa ’03 to answer album’s central ? Bieber would slay this if the gender was flipped.|
|5. “Run the World” – The-Dream’s fingerprints all over this = a good thing. After the internal confusion of “(WI)L,” this one’s refreshingly self-assured.|
|6. “Papi” – The pro-monogamy house trend revived by RiRi’s “Only Girl,” still going strong here. Fun, harmless, & strictly for Jenny’s Latina fans.|
|7. “Until It Beats No More” – Sounds like she’s singing straight to Marc Anthony on this one. Honest and adult. “I feel the beat again, stronger than before.” Aw.|
|8. “One Love” – “What’s wrong with a girl wanting everything?” Jennifer wonders over this slow roller. Nothing, when you’re a triple-threat superstar.|
|9. “Invading My Mind” – RedOne & Lady Gaga (collaboration 1 of 2) bring the hit potential, while Jennifer brings the heat. All irresistible ’80s euphoria & release.|
|10. “Villain” – Variations on Kanye’s “Flashing Lights” beat never get old, but this feels oddly placed after the confessional vibe of the last track.|
|11. “Starting Over” – Another ballad in disguise, thanks to pummeling bassline and mournful introspection. First payoff comes at the :33 mark – hi, Robyn!|
|12. “Hypnotico” – Gaga collaboration 2 of 2 gets right into the Mother Monster’s headspace. Handclaps, boy-toying, fun with syllables & a boricua shoutout.|
|13. “Everybody’s Girl” – So very disco. Being tired of fame is a tired theme, hence the bonus track status, but this’ll work just fine for a Zumba playlist, so thx!|
|14. “Charge Me Up” – Did you know? Four-on-the-floor fatigue is a real illness. A ballad would actually be very welcome right about now.|
|15. “Take Care” – Finally, some hip-hop. Delicious melodies by the-Dream and retro drums. All that’s missing is Ja Rule’s growl! Kidding. Kind of.|
|16. “On the Floor (Ven a Bailar)” – Even sexier than the original, and the rare seamless ranslation of an English-language hit. Also, Pitbull should never not rap in Spanish.|