Jennifer Lopez
Dance Again... The Hits


2.0
poor

Review

by Irving Tan STAFF
July 25th, 2012 | 94 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Don’t be fooled by the rocks that she’s got.

“Greatest Hits” albums tend to follow a strict and highly specific template. Their tracklistings often read like the soundtrack to a radio junkie’s ultimate bucket list, running the gamut of a given artist’s most popular radio hits while not giving a single fuck if any of those songs are actually a proper representation of the artist’s best and most creative output or not. Equally as likely are gratuitous servings of anywhere between one and three new songs – occasionally with a guest performer onboard – to smoothen the donning of the nostalgia goggles. The end result of this type of record also tends to be predictable in the extreme, and it’s usually one of two outcomes: either you get an overall aura of palpability and a cheap, synthetic pleasure at how playable the songs are despite their relative age, or you get a facial brickbat of moderate-to-raw disappointment at the discovery of how thin and forced the artist’s discography really is.

Jennifer Lopez’s Dance Again…The Hits, falls squarely into the latter category, and it’s quite easy to see why even without getting into the specifics. To begin with, while often the premise of a “Greatest Hits” record is to offer a retrospective look at an artist’s career, on Dance Again…The Hits, too often the sense is that having Lopez alone as the object of interest is insufficient as far as sales go. To help illustrate the point that I’m trying to make, consider the fact that of the thirteen songs on this compilation, nine feature at least one other performer alongside lil’ Jenny from the Block. While this may be largely due to modern pop’s recent (and unfortunate) propensity to include elements of hip-hop and dancehall rap within much of its output, it also gives the impression that as a product, having Jennifer Lopez alone is simply not enough. Worse, it lends credence to the suspicion that her frequent pairings with another performer tend to be decisions borne out of necessity – as opposed to being an independent creative choice.

This sense of inadequacy is further heightened by the decision to include the Murder Remixes of “Ain’t It Funny” and “I’m Real” over the original studio versions found on J.Lo. It’s almost as if Sony Music held their hands up and admitted that the initial cuts that they published simply weren’t up to scratch. If that sounds depressing, then hold on – for it gets worse: the rest of Lopez’s studio material is also spread pretty thin elsewhere on the record. For instance, “Jenny from the Block” is the only song present from This Is Me…Then. Likewise, Rebirth and Brave only feature one song each (“Get Right” and “Do It Well” respectively), while Como Ama una Mujer is completely unrepresented. To be fair, this would be perfectly fine if the material that was ultimately selected to represent Lopez’s career was up to scratch, but sadly that just isn’t the case. In fact, a huge chunk of the record comes across as a potent reminder that even at the height of her powers, Lopez tended to provide second-rate, filler radio pop which was distinctly inferior to what Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and even Shakira were pumping out at the time.

Ultimately, what this means is that the compilation simply doesn’t hold up any better upon close inspection either. Strangely for a “Greatest Hits” record, the tracklisting on Dance Again…The Hits is simply all over the place, with no indication that the record executives or Lopez herself looked around for a logical start or an easy access ramp to her seven-album canon. As a result, we have bizarre moments like “Get Right” – with its looping horn refrains and funk-infused vocal flails – transitioning awkwardly into the old school hip hop of “Jenny from the Block”, whose introductory line of “Children grow and women producing/Men go working/Some go stealin’/Everyone’s got to make a livin’!” sounds much more atrocious ten years after the fact. Then there’s the part where the nu-disco of “Do It Well” swings to a solid halt, a hint of Latin flavor still lingering in the air, only for the entire mood to come crashing down like the Hindenburg as Ja Rule turns up a mere five seconds later and declares “IT MUST BE THE ASSSSSSS!!!” to open “Ain’t It Funny”. Elsewhere, the new material present herein is also found wanting: “Dance Again” is a shameless and half-assed attempt at recreating the success of “On The Floor” – easily the best song Lopez has produced in her entire career – but even the reenlistment of Pitbull and a rehash of the same brand of sleek grooves and quick-paced electro beats fail to prevent it from coming off as puerile and simply unoriginal. “Goin’ In”, featuring Flo Rida, isn’t much better, but at least its distinctly urban production adds an added touch of dynamism to proceedings.

Yet the most interesting observation, perhaps, is how Dance Again…The Hits somehow manages to treat the two On the 6 cuts present herein – “If You Had My Love” and “Waiting for Tonight” – with a little bit more reverence. The former comes across as a solid monument to Lopez’s early fire and soulful persona, whereas the latter finds its niche as a welcome throwback to the dying days of the last millennium, when the world danced as one to the dawn of Y2K. Most importantly, both tracks achieve all this without the dumb conceit of that horribly misplaced Jenny from the Block persona or even the thick club licks which has characterized J.Lo’s recent output. In a way it’s fitting: the woman with many faces finds out that the one which suits her best was the one she started with.



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user ratings (21)
Chart.
2.1
poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2012


7275 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I'm about to sign you up, we can get right

Before the night is up, we can get

Get riiiiiiiiiiiiight get riiiiiiiiiiiight

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Gyromania
July 25th 2012


15706 Comments


Don't know what's funnier, the fact that you actually listened to this, or that you were able to write this much about it. Review is unsurprisingly great though.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2012


15980 Comments


This is why you're staff

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

Gyromania
July 25th 2012


15706 Comments


I guess I really shouldn't be laughing though considering I wrote about as much for a Nickelback album lol

Irving
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2012


7275 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Ugh that was horrible can I be Emeritus now

Irving
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2012


7275 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I guess I really shouldn't be laughing though considering I wrote about as much for a Nickelback album lol

HEY POT MEET KETTLE

XD

Gyromania
July 25th 2012


15706 Comments


Haha. Yes, it's full-on hypocrisy! :P Admittedly I actually had a lot of fun running them into the ground

nash1311
July 25th 2012


1754 Comments


Oh yes.

Kiran
Emeritus
July 25th 2012


6001 Comments


the worst thing about this release is that a new generation will be introduced to ja rule

Apollo
July 25th 2012


10303 Comments


Good review Irving although I'm questioning why you listened to this in the first place haha

nash1311
July 25th 2012


1754 Comments


It's hits, technically you don't have to listen to it, they're old songs.

EDIT: Just realized the multitude of remixes.

robin
Emeritus
July 25th 2012


4248 Comments


you will always remember this as your first staff review

klap
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2012


10417 Comments


^HAH

cvlts
July 25th 2012


8955 Comments


so just what kinda user traffic you hope to attract with this? lol

Tyrael
July 25th 2012


20876 Comments


Oh god Irving why

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

Emyay
July 25th 2012


5955 Comments


taco flavored keeses

Adabelle
July 25th 2012


4257 Comments


Niceeeeeee

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2012


15737 Comments


Irving i have received an email from jeremy asking me to inform you that your services at sputnikmusic are no longer required and that you have 24 hours to remove your personal effects from Olympus. Thank you.

Digging: Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

Gyromania
July 25th 2012


15706 Comments


lol

treeqt.
July 25th 2012


9704 Comments


Reading this I realise that I don't know a single Jennifer Lopez song.

Digging: Luigi Nono - A Pierre; Quando stanno morendo;



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