If anyone owes the world a decent album, it's Jennifer Lopez--especially after chagrining herself and the U.S. with 2010's The Backup Plan. With her seventh studio album, Love?, she halfway delivers. Then again, considering how fantastically her previous effort, Brave, tanked, the world should be grateful for even the slightest improvement in J. Lo's musical stylings.
The first single from the album, "On the Floor," is--in shrewd J. Lo fashion-- carried by the fact that it features a male vocal. All of J. Lo's most successful songs tend to operate under this maxim (e.g. "I'm Real" featuring Ja Rule, "All I Have" featuring LL Cool J, and "Get Right" featuring Fabolous). Pitbull, known for his sexually charged lyrics (read: he sounds like a rapist most of the time), sings one of his more boiler plate raps, you know, talking about Lopez's ass and how it's big enough to fit speakers and drinking vodka, et cetera (honestly, it gets kind of unintelligible at certain points).
It is the second single with Lil Wayne, "I'm Into You," that shows the first indication of a fledgling song selection. The song is not the typical fare you would find in J. Lo's wheelhouse in terms of lyrical content: "You got me hooked with your love controller" (now, I'm just guessing here, but I'm pretty sure that's a penis reference). J. Lo usually keeps it a little less sexual than that, leaving that responsibility to her video imagery. Perhaps she was influenced by the term "disco stick" as, undoubtedly, the next single to be released will be the Lady Gaga-produced "Invading My Mind" (though Gaga goes by her Christian name Stefani Germanotta in the liner notes).
Some of the most tolerable songs on the album range from the lamenting track "(What Is) Love?", though J. Lo isn't really convincing in her sadness about being alone on Valentine's Day and Christmas (we all know bitch always has a man) to "Papi," an uptempo song that is as close to "Let's Get Loud" as we're ever going to get again. Contenders for worst song are "Run This World," a song about how J. Lo's love with, presumably, Marc Anthony can run this world because it is that strong and "Good Hit," in which you will hear J. Lo inquire, "Don't you want me to have your baby?" Really now J. Lo, that query instantly reveals that you've entered your forties.
Basically, Love? simply confirms that On the 6 was J. Lo's only true opus. Just as Selena was in terms of her films. Christ, this is suddenly making me yearn for the nineties.