Earlier this year, Jennifer Lopez released her first Spanish-language album Como Ama Una Mujer. Sales never took off stateside, and soon after J-Lo promised fans an English pop album as her comeback record. Although Brave is certainly pop, the beats are so light and the lyrics so bland that only a few tracks give us a glimpse of what once was an exciting dance floor diva.
One Satisfied Diva
The overall theme of Brave is that Lopez is quite content with her life and current relationship. On tracks like “Forever” and “Stay Together,” Lopez sings about making sure she is with her significant other for the rest of her life and that “staying together is the new trend.” This level of satisfaction with the present is also evident in the quality of music on Brave, as she never sounds hungry for a hit, and croons rather indifferently throughout the album. Even the production lacks risk-taking or any sign of reinvention and could easily pass as leftover records from Lopez' past albums. Although contentment with life is excellent for her, it makes for a very bland record.
Terrific Production But Lacking In Hooks
There are a few excellent tracks to be found on Brave. “The Way It Is” is a stunning piece of ear candy with lively drums and exciting string flourishes building toward a glorious wall of synths. The lead single “Do It Well” is classic dance floor J-Lo with its hip-hop beat and disco sirens at the bridge. Unfortunately, few other tracks are ever able to catch fire, particularly toward the end of the record on mid-tempo snoozers like “Be Mine” and “I Need Love.”
Any More Gas Left In The Musical Tank?
Jennifer Lopez' album sales have been tailing off in recent years, and it appears some sort of musical reinvention will be needed on future sets to keep listeners interested. Even the tracks on Brave that try to be club records fall short, containing such light beats and unexciting vocals, that few will be drawn to the dance floor. A la carte downloads of the few exciting tracks here is a recommended approach.