At this point in her career, Jennifer Lopez might be better labeled as “Classic Tryer/Dabbler” than “International Superstar.” She keeps throwing varying types of career pasta at the wall — starring in movies, producing series like South Beach and Dancelife, releasing CDs in Spanish and English, guest judging on Idol — hoping something will turn out perfectly cooked and stick. She may not be the most talented gal in the room, but at least J.Lo works hard for her stardom, washes her hair before making public appearances, and doesn’t resort to flashing her hoo-hoo or endangering the lives of motorists to get publicity.
“Do It Well,” the first single from her forthcoming CD, Brave, finds Lopez’s voice as tinny and feeble as ever, singing lyrics that may have sounded believable back in the early ’90s days of In Living Color, but now come off as a preposterous attempt to “keep it real.” I find it hard to believe that at any point in the last decade, J.Lo has bashfully introduced herself and scribbled down her digits…for anyone. Maybe she couldn’t think of something that rhymed with “Have your people call my people”?
On the plus side, though, the production itself — from the urgent strings to the wah-chicka-wah’s to that rapid-fire chorus — is hard to resist. The melody’s as easy as it is catchy (perfect as “Jenny From the Block” for inebriated karaoke), and the beat demands a sumptuous choreographical feast of a video. I kid you not, I just did the “Uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, oh-no-no” at my desk while listening to “Do It Well.” And also some mild krumping. Not only that, J.Lo winningly brings “do-si-do” back to the pop-culture lexicon, and subliminally brings to mind Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You Been Gone” by using “here’s the thing” as the opening words to the song’s verse. Is global domination imminent? You make the call, PopWatchers, while I fight the urge to blow 99 cents on a download.