The artist formerly-known-as-but-is-still-most-widely-known-as Jennifer Lopez is back with her eighth studio album ‘A.K.A.’.
Sadly it’s an uneven collection, filled with mid tempo dance tracks and many rent-a-rappers.
J-Lo has always been inconsistent, with some albums such as 2007’s ‘Brave’ completely missing the mark (and nearly the charts!). Unfortunately, it looks like ‘A.K.A.’ faces the same destiny, as it lacks a surefire hit.
First single ‘I Luh Ya Papi’ relies on a barely-catchy hook to attract attention. Second single ‘First Love’ is far better, but it’s an ominous sign that it is the only song on the album that J-Lo didn’t have a hand in writing.
Ms.Lopez is a big fan of appearing current, so it’s no surprise that she has roped in Iggy Azalea (‘Acting Like That’) and French Montana (‘I Luh Ya Papi’, ‘Same Girl’) to help out on ‘A.K.A’ with mediocre results.
Elsewhere, the title track is a solid 7 out of 10 whilst ‘Booty’ is downright trashy (what happened to the feminist J-Lo that we saw in the ‘I Luh Ya Papi’ video?). Its “big big booty” chant might be quite memorable, but it lacks the charm of other songs dedicated to such body parts (such as Shakira’s ‘Hips Don’t Lie’).
The album’s sole ballad ‘Emotions’ showcases Jennifer’s potential as a lyrical storyteller, but suffers when it comes to showing off her whiny upper registrar.
It’s not all bad news though. One song that we love unreservedly is ‘Let It Be Me’ with its Spanish guitar and musical flair. Radio will never play it, but it’s nice to see J-Lo let her hair down and not try so hard.
We also like ‘Troubeaux’, an old school R&B number with an alluring jazz influence.
It’s moments like these that are the most frustrating, as they remind us how good J-Lo was back in the day.
Instead she and her team continue to chase the sound of ‘right now,’ regardless of whether she can pull it off convincingly.
Download: First Love, Let It Be Me.