Brave

Even when she attempted to rep the block, Jennifer Lopez's music career has been about as edgy as her famous booty. Auto-Tune and star power have buoyed her since 1999's On the 6, but now J. Lo has turned away from the slick, minimalist future funk currently ruling the pop zeitgeist for chintzy production that screams 1990. Brave has two obsessions: love and cheesy strings. Dollops of orchestration are plopped onto all but two of twelve tracks, from the Latin freestyle-esque opener, "Stay Together" ("Heartbreaks are overrated, stay together, that's the new trend," insists the twice-divorced Lopez), to stubbornly undanceable midtempo duds like the synth-overloaded "The Way It Is" and "I Need Love," on which Lopez convinces herself it's time to quit partying and settle down. But the club, not love, is her salvation, as she proves on "Do It Well," the only track that lets J. Lo do her thing: dance.

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