Though she'll never be compared to Whitney Houston or even Mariah Carey in the vocal department, in the world of pop divas, high-flying Jennifer Lopez doesn't have to be. Just ask Madonna or Janet Jackson, who've both enjoyed extraordinary careers despite possessing relatively mediocre voices.
Lopez may be limited as a singer, but the actress/dancer has star power to spare, and she's made the most of it on this surprisingly successful sophomore album. The disc is a significant improvement over her 1999 debut On the 6 mainly because the Latin heartthrob has stopped trying to be something she's not. Steering clear of upper octave histrionics and staying within a cool comfort range, Lopez lets her allure carry the savory blend of dance pop, R&B, and Latin flavors.
Some of the best moments on the disc have a definite Jackson influence and that's not just Janet, but Michael as well. “We Gotta Talk” is a standout piece of sizzling dance magic in motion, very evocative of Michael Jackson's “Off the Wall” period. Both the hit single “Love Don't Cost a Thing” and the lusty ballad “Secretly”—the latter which Lopez simply purrs her way through—are very reminiscent of sister Janet, whose influence on modern dance pop is often underrated.
There are elements of Lopez's Latin roots on display, most obviously during the horn-splashed “Carino,” the best of three Spanish tracks here. But she's more convincing on the hook-filled, electronica-traced “Walking on Sunshine” and the erotic-times-10 ballad “Come Over,” both of which were co-written by Lopez's partner Sean “"Puffy"” Combs.
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