Brazenly derivative of R&B/dance music styles of the early 1990s, Jennifer Lopez’s second album of 2007 (the first was in Spanish) has few signs of inventiveness, a problem, one suspects, when song after song is assembled by committees of writers and producers.
“Hold It Don’t Drop It,” for example, requires another seven to come up with the beats and lyrics as the melody is based on the single song sampled, Tavares’ “It Only Takes a Minute.” Steamy romance, proper treatment by a lover and a jet-set lifestyle dominate the lyrics; lead-off track “Stay Together” is the most personal of the 12 tracks as she gives props to monogamy, proclaiming that staying together is the new trend. “Never Gonna Give Up,” a ballad driven by strings, is the album’s most interesting song; “Mile in These Shoes” is the one distinctive tune that reveals J-Lo. Otherwise, Jenny has left the block. In her vocals – all of which have a separate producer and are electronically altered or layered and still are not consistently confident – Lopez apes Beyonce, Shakira and Madonna as producers wheel out techniques associated with Madge, Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder, and TLC.