Jennifer Lopez's last album was a disastrous valentine to her ex-boyfriend Ben Affleck -- goopy, watered-down and thoroughly dull, with a hint of voyeurism. So maybe she was trying to tell us something when she named the first single from "Rebirth," her new pop album, "Get Right." Sadly, this doesn't get right. It doesn't even get okay.
The idea of "Rebirth" seems to be to make hip-pop with a more acoustic sound -- hence things like the horn solo in "Get Right," which is the only memorable part of the entire song. What remains are bubbly little pop tunes and the odd mournful ballad, usually about How Much I Love Whatsisname And Will Love Him Forever, Or Next Week, Whichever Comes First.
After a bunch of club tracks, "Rebirth" gets sidetracked with bubblegum pop, and weepy, adoring ballads. One is (bad omen here!) a duet with her husband, Marc Anthony, who proves himself the superior singer as he soars above Lopez's childlike voice.
But at heart, this is no rebirth. Rather it's the same ol' same ol' from Lopez -- generic ballads and unexceptional club tunes, which are catchy but essentially forgettable. Only the odd song has a moment that is memorable, such as the aforementioned horn solo, which will set your teeth on edge after awhile. The rest of the time, it's just highly repetitive beats and swoony bubblegum.
Lopez can certainly be counted as a singer, because she does sing. But as a recent MTV performance proves, she isn't a good one. Admittedly club tunes don't require the voice of an angel, but Lopez's are flat; they also have the over-polished quality of vocals smoothed over too much. Though she tries to convey deep passion in songs like "I, Love," she sounds like a teenager French-kissing her pillow.
Not that the songwriting on Lopez's album can possibly make up for her lack of vocal ability. For example, one song rhymes "the strange way you turn me on" with "as if you really didn't give a--unh!" Not impressive, rhyming a word with an inarticulate grunt. Sadly, no other songs manage writing more intelligent than comparing love to cherry pie. (Let's all say it in unison: Huh?)
A real "Rebirth" would be good writing, more imaginative music and more than one beat. But Jennifer Lopez strikes out yet again in her latest "rebirth," leaving only a handful of bland hip-pop tracks in her wake.