wed 17/04/2024

Album: Jennifer Lopez - This is Me Now | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Jennifer Lopez - This is Me... Now

Album: Jennifer Lopez - This is Me... Now

Mega-star ode to being loved-up doesn't achieve lift-off

J-Lo super-selfie 2024

Whitney Houston once sang that “the greatest love of all is happening to me-ee-eee.” In 2024, however, the greatest love of all, at least in terms of sheer, outward-expanding volume, is happening to Jennifer Lopez (and, one must presume, Ben Affleck).

J-Lo has spent, we are told, $20 million of her own money on a triple-headed monument to the rekindling of her romance with Affleck; a (from the trailer, very camp-looking) feature film, a documentary, The Greatest Love Story Never Told, inspired by letters from Affleck, and this album. The sheer chutzpah is impressive, and the album sometimes carries off its OTT concept, but not often enough.

It is Lopez’ first album in a decade, and a sequel of sorts of sorts to the 2002 album This is Me… Then. There are a range of positive aspects. It has lyrical swing right from its opening line, “I watched my mother miss out on her life/All that could have been became a sacrifice”; she acknowledges her Hispanic roots with some well-estimated guitar play; she’s playful with her bling diva reputation, especially in a sort-of-sequel to “Jenny From the Block” called “Hearts and Flowers”; there’s some sassy rapping; and there’s also a handful of tasty songs, of which more in a bit.

But there are two main issues. J-Lo is convincing in her starry-eyed adoration, gushingly joyous (“One time/Two time/I be loving you until the end of time”!), but the one-note theme, while sounding genuine and therapeutic, does start to wear. She would probably get away with this were it not for the second and main issue, which is that the music sounds a bit passé. One of the great things about so many of the 21st century female megastars is their dynamic sonic palette, their producers’ constant search for new territory, from Beyoncé to Taylor Swift to Miley Cyrus. But This is Me… Now is too often bogged down in tepid, skittering R&B stylings of yesteryear.

There are exceptions. Notably, the funkin’ cars-as-sex bouncer “Can’t Get Enough”, the trap-tinted bubbler “This Time Around”, and the lush, catchy slush-pop of “The Greatest Love Story Never Told”. Fans of celeb kitsch may also enjoy “Midnight Trip to Vegas”. Then again, fans of celeb kitsch will likely enjoy the whole thing.

Below: Watch the video for Jennifer Lopez' This is Me... Now's best song "Can't Get Enough"

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