How you look at the new Jennifer Lopez albums depends heavily on what you expect out of an album from the artist/”American Idol” judge. Do you expect an album that will receive countless spins at the club? If so, you’re in luck. If you expect an amazing voice and mind-blowing lyrics, look elsewhere.
Let’s look at the good news first: The production for the most part of Lopez’s seventh album, “Love?,” is packed with dance floor-happy beats. Among the all-star production cast is RedOne, the man largely responsible for Lady Gaga’s “Fame Monster” soundtrack, Norwegian hit makers StarGate, and super-producer The-Dream. Thanks to this cast, the album is jumping.
RedOne continues his streak in pop music, adding addicting house-influenced rhythms with thick bass-synth lines to opening single “On the Floor” and the even livelier “Papi.” JLo’s vocal contributions aren’t overly impressive, but she’s at her most effective when she’s seductive, as on the latter track.
Lady Gaga herself makes behind-the-scene appearances, as a songwriter for “Invading My Mind” and closing track “Hypnotico.” Both songs reek of her influence, but it works for the dance approach.
The album slips when Lopez tried to take a more personal approach. “Run The World” and “Until It Beats No More” tone down the instrumental approach so her voice comes to the front. Her themes and intentions, about whether true love can truly exist, are good, but her lyrics are not. Better to take the album to a party than listen to it in a reflective movement.
Several rappers make guest appearances. Pit Bull imposes himself well into “On The Floor,” but Lil Wayne makes for a moot guest on “I’m Into You.” The song’s approach doesn’t suit his foul-mouthed, witty style.
Lopez might not be on Christina Aguilera’s level vocal-wise, but the beats on “Love?” move her past Britney’s latest work.