Jennifer Lopez – Fifth Time Lucky?
This week Jennifer Lopez released her brand new single ‘First Love‘, written and produced by pop hit maker Max Martin. The song sees Jennifer return to her pop roots that made her breakthrough in the late 90s/early 00s, and has been warmly received by fans and critics so far.
Whilst it’s not unusual for JLo to drop a new song, we can’t help but notice that this is now the fifth ‘first’ single to be released from her upcoming eight studio album (tenth if you include the remix album and greatest hits collection!).
Since May of last year she has released singles such as ‘Live it Up‘ (ft. Pitbull), ‘Same Girl‘, ‘Girls’, ‘I Luh Ya Papi‘ (ft. French Montana) and now ‘First Love‘. Prior to the latest release none of these singles had charted highly or maintained any buzz, leaving Jennifer to go back into the studio and truly work hard for that now elusive hit.
Why these singles haven’t done well is simply puzzling. You can’t blame lack of promotion because last year she performed ‘Live it Up‘ live at the 2013 Billboard Awards, on American Idol and on Britain’s Got Talent. ‘Same Girl‘ was co-written by Chris Brown and even had an accompanying video that saw her return to her Bronx roots but that still didn’t do the trick?
‘Girls‘ was played on radio a few times but largely went unnoticed, whereas ‘I Luh Ya Papi‘ was actually given a high budget video and a big promotional platform on you guessed it… American Idol! Still the song could only hang around the bottom half of the Billboard Hot 100 for a couple of weeks (peaking at just number 77).
However this time JLo might and I mean might be on to something. First of all hooking up with producer Max Martin is a step in the right direction. This producer/songwriter is best known as the man behind songs such as ‘…Baby One More Time‘, ‘Since U Been Gone‘, ‘I Knew You Were Trouble‘, ‘Roar‘ and lots more. If anyone can give Jennifer (and her label) at hit then surely it must be this man?
The problems with Jennifer’s music career arguably begun back in 2004 with the release of ‘Rebirth‘. Despite scoring a hit with ‘Get Right‘ the album soon became her lowest seller to date and she was soon being overshadowed by the rising prominence of other female singers such as Beyoncé, Ciara, Gwen Stefani and a returning Mariah Carey.
Jennifer somewhat got lost in the shuffle and then took a quiet spell to raise a family and re-evaluate her career path. After the birth of her twins she soon embarked her comeback by signing up as a judge of American Idol, which at the time was the number one rated show in the country.
She had no choice but to use this show as a platform to debut new music and she struck gold with the release of ‘On the Floor‘ (ft. Pitbull), which returned her to the top of the charts. Her album ‘Love?‘ sold respectfully well (when thinking about the current music sales climate) and she soon embarked on her ‘Dance Again World Tour‘, which was the first time she ever hit the road and performed her large back catalogue live to her legions of fans.
By this stage it had seemed that JLo had done something that so few entertainers could pull off and that is a successful music comeback! But fast forward a few years later and she seems yet again to be struggling to get the pre-album hit single that is essential for any album campaign.
Some say that age is playing a factor in the lack of single success. They say at 44 she is now too old to compete with younger contemporaries such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga. Mainstream pop radio is known for playing only the younger artists and Jennifer may simply not full into that bracket anymore.
Others have suggested that the music is just not strong enough to chart well and that songs such as ‘I Luh Ya Papi‘ are lazy, immature and borderline desperate. Could it be that JLo is struggling to find her niche and place in today’s ever evolving industry?
However if you are a true fan of Jennifer then it is important to be optimistic. Regarding the age issue artists such as Cher, Madonna and Kylie Minogue (internationally) have continued to have success at a more mature age and are still creating buzz on the charts that keeps their presence alive in the music world.
With over 80 million records sold worldwide Jennifer’s legacy is definitely solidified. With successful business, television and movie ventures she doesn’t have to release new music. But the fact is that she chooses to because of her passion for performing and if that makes her and her J.Lovers (fan base) happy, then may she continue to entertain to those who will truly appreciate it.
She still even gets excited upon hearing her new songs on the radio for the first time, if you want proof of that then simply watch the video below,
Since its release ‘First Love‘ has been rising steadily up the ITunes chart around the world and with the video yet to be released it still has a chance to re-peak at a later stage. Many call this a return to form and it will be interesting (and vital) to see just how well this release does…
So is it fifth time lucky for Jennifer Lopez? We’ll have to wait and see!
Check out the ‘First Love‘ lyric video below,
What do you think? Tell us in the comment box below
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Article By: Grant Savage