When listening to J.Lo's new album, Como Ama Una Mujer, at first you might think “I never noticed how thick of an accent she has--like, it’s so thick I can hardly understand what she’s saying!” Then, in a moment of clarity, you realize that’s she’s singing in Spanish.

This makes the CD, which she collaborated on with husband Mark Anthony, a little disappointing, because despite having the music, you feel the need to hear some of Lopez’s beautiful, poetic lyrics like: “Let's get loud, let's get loud/Turn the music up, let's do it/C'mon people let's get loud/Let's get loud /Turn the music up to hear that sound.” Boy, she makes William Wordsworth look like a hack.

The first track, “Que Hiciste,” is like sitting in a lukewarm hot tub: neither enjoyable nor uncomfortable. By the second song, which has some more gritty instrumental parts in it, you’ve completely forgotten how the last one went. Which isn’t a good sign considering “Que Hiciste” is the first single from the album.

The third tune, “Como Ama Una Mujer,” is one you might expect to hear in a Spanish version of Little Orphan Annie. I don’t even speak the language and I still thought the lyrics were too sappy … and I only cried a little. Won’t somebody help that little, redheaded Spanish orphan is all I could think.

“Te Voy A Querer,” track No. 4, provides listeners with some classic percussion parts that you’d expect from a Spanish album. Actually, it’s by far the most authentic-sounding song on Como Ama Una Mujer, although I may have detected an accordion in it.

Likely, the strongest track here is the simply titled “Tu.” With a thick, smeared R&B bass, coated in a catchy palm-muted guitar line and actual string parts--unlike a previous track with obviously synthesized strings--it sounds like a truly crafted piece of music. It even has a fancy guitar solo and you can tell that there’s a real drummer playing, rather than a computerized one.

Next up we have “Amarte Es Todo,” which sounds like a Spanish mix of Cat Stevens’ “Wild World” and the title theme from James Bond’s Never Say Never Again. In fact, each time I listened to it, I heard another song that I could swear she was ripping off.

Como Ama Una Mujer ends with a live track, which is basically the only way to differentiate it from the previous one--oh, and it has a Spanish guitar part as well. Fittingly titled “Adios,” the song at least shows that Lopez isn’t dependent on studio techniques and gadgets to produce her voice.

If you like Lopez and her music, then you’ll likely find her new CD enjoyable. It’s good to dance to, has some emotional tunes and a bit of variety, and the Spanish influence reaches beyond the vocals into the music. If you don’t like J.Lo, however, you might find yourself wishing the album were as abbreviated as her nickname.

Release Date: 3/27/07

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