Urban Contemporary, 2002
I’d have thought after all the money Sony spent on promoting Jennifer Lopez, they would also buy some better material for her to sing. This Is Me… Then is guilty of more than having a corny title, it is irredeemably, utterly boring. If I am to believe her CD notes, her love affair with Ben ” B Arf” Affleck has inspired her so much that it sends her into a flurry of writing, therefore resulting her co-writing many of the songs here. I have no idea that love with a fellow media whore while still being married to a man one haven’t divorced yet could make one so insipid (“From the words you speak so deep, our bodies meet, I have to have you” – Dear Ben).
This album is filled with ballads. With some other artist, this may be seen as a sign of the artist trying to earn some credibility by showing the full extent of her vocal range. Jennifer Lopez, however, has the vocal range of a boiled potato, and when she makes the worst of the karaoke-abusing American Idol contestants look good in comparison, this album is more like the second coming of Paula Abdul’s less talented sister. Her paper-thin voice cannot bring to life any of the mediocre tunes she lifelessly murders. Were she not J Lo, the famewhore who sells everything she can put her name on and charges a high price for them, she’ll be the horrid screeching-in-the-shower neighbor one would cheerfully strangle without remorse.
Musically, the single and sole uptempo track Jenny From the Block is the only thing that doesn’t put me to sleep, even if it’s another derivative rent-a-rapper track. Lyrically, however, it is the most offensive, as “Jenny” here starts off having a rapper saying that she’s just trying to make ends meet (aww) and in the end, she’s still “Jenny from the Block”. Don’t mind her rocks, people, she’s still the same lady as always. Only Jennifer Lopez will show off her wealth and fame while at the same time her background singers will screech that Jenny is still down-to-earth (feel free to laugh).
This Is Me… Then is probably that one time when Jennifer Lopez will look back and wish she hasn’t done that. Go away, J Lo, and take your B Arf with you. Just go away.