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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 20, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Accent

J-Lo muses on love and self on first album in four years

After changing record labels in 2007, Jennifer Lopez starts anew with a concept album that attempts to delve into the bewilderment of looking for love.

The end result of J-Lo’s musings is the lackluster dance floor confessional, “Love?” J-Lo appears to be just as confused about love as her producers are about what it takes to create a successful introspective and biographical compilation.

The album fails to meet any of its preconceived expectations, and as a personal reflection, it never gets any better than the songs that specifically tackle the topic at hand — the confusion love can bring. Most notably, the song “(What is) Love?” combines impressive vocals and lyrics that aim for the heart, and when the beat drops and J-Lo passionately shouts, “I’ve been alone for the past three years on Valentine’s Day,” listeners can’t help but appreciate the honesty the song offers. But lyrically, other tracks fail to maintain the overall mood or concept.

With the album’s Latin-inspired percussion and pulsating urban synthesizers, J-Lo’s hearty vocals never sound out of place, and the devotion to the propagation of a solid, beat-driven sound is admirable.

Other tracks, like the sloppily produced “Good Hit,” ruin the potency of the all-too-relevant “One Love.” Lyrics like “Got my California Loub’s on, all up in your face” and “Don’t you want me to have your babies?” do not give the song any palatable qualities. The Lady Gaga-penned “Invading My Mind” redeems the album because it is as infectiously catchy as it is honest.

“Love?” suffers from an identity crisis. J-Lo’s conceptual vision simply needed more meat on its bones.

1.5 out of 4 stars