Release Date: 11.26.02
Record label: Sony
The Sounds of Love... Again
by: tom reiter
Ms. Lopez is in love and she wants everyone to know it. Ten out of the twelve tracks on This Is Me…Then are devoted to expressing it. While this is undoubtedly due to her current romance with actor Ben Affleck, her topics vary from still being in love with someone (“Still”) to breaking up with someone (“All I Have”), and everything in between.
Gone is the P Diddy influenced hip-hopstress J. Lo; brought back is the original yet more refined Jennifer Lopez. This Is Me…Then centers itself around a late 70’s Motown feel; Jennifer’s gentle voice paired up with a background vocalist or two trumped up with strings over relaxed funk basslines. This Is Me... is a showcase of J. Lo’s talent as a singer and songwriter (she co-wrote most of the tracks), versus an overall package as a performer with good looks and a voice.
Yet, the album isn’t so much a “back to her roots” album, but more of an “I’ve always been myself” album. Except for “Jenny From the Block,” you won’t find anything like “Waiting for Tonight” or “I’m Real.” The best example of this about face is her song dedicated to her love, “Dear Ben.” Fueled by her intimate emotions she carries herself strongly through each verse. Throughout This Is Me... her voice is never really that powerful, but very rarely is it weak.
Comprised mostly of love ballads, This Is Me…Then aims itself more towards a niche market. This Is Me…Then is a well-written and produced album. The love theme would be over the top had it not been performed with Jennifer Lopez’s style class. 06-Jan-2003 4:51 PM