Rebirth (Jennifer Lopez album)

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Rebirth
Studio album by Jennifer Lopez
Released February 28, 2005 (2005-02-28)
Recorded 2004
Genre
Length 48:13
Label Epic
Producer
Jennifer Lopez chronology
  • Rebirth
  • (2005)
Singles from Rebirth
  1. "Get Right"
    Released: January 4, 2005 (2005-01-04)
  2. "Hold You Down"
    Released: February 15, 2005 (2005-02-15)

Rebirth is the fourth studio album by American singer Jennifer Lopez. It was released on February 28, 2005, by Epic Records. Following the release of her third studio album This Is Me... Then (2002) which was dedicated to her fiance at the time Ben Affleck, Lopez decided to focus on her film career. Soon, her courtship with Affleck ended and Lopez took a break from her career, which had been on a "roller-coaster" ride since her debut album On the 6 (1999). During this time, she married fellow Hispanic recording artist Marc Anthony, and began telling the media that she was entering "phase two" of her life, feeling like she had a new beginning.

In late 2004, Lopez began working on Rebirth with producers such as Cory Rooney, Tim & Bob, Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins and Anthony. She explained the album's concept as her being reborn following the media circus that followed her romance with Affleck. Having taken a vacation, Lopez returned feeling innovated. Additionally, she aimed to be rid of the "J.Lo" persona, which she described as not being a "real person", confusing the public. However, she later stated that this was blown out of proportion. Rebirth was milder than her previous material, consisting of mainly mid-tempo R&B songs. It also included dance, funk, and hip hop tracks.

Upon its release Rebirth received generally mixed reviews. While her comeback was praised, it was noted that the album's mild content let it down. The album was a moderate success. In the United States, it peaked at number two on the Billboard 200, and was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of one million copies. Worldwide, it reached the top ten in most major music markets. The album spawned two singles. The first, "Get Right", peaked atop the UK Singles Chart and reached number 12 in the United States, while Rebirth '​s second single "Hold You Down" failed to make an impact, charting moderately.

Background[edit]

In November 2002, Lopez became engaged to Academy Award winning director and actor, Ben Affleck.[1] Their high-profiled relationship garnered a substantial amount of media attention.[2][3] The public and media began to refer to them as "Bennifer" and they became a prominent supercouple in the media and popular culture. Bennifer became a popular term, which was eventually entered into urban dictionaries and neologism dictionaries as notable,[4] and the name blend started the trend of other celebrity couples being referred to by the combination of each other's first names.[5] That November she released her third studio album entitled This Is Me... Then. Lyrically, the album was dedicated to Affleck, her "muse" for the record.[6] The album performed strongly, opening to her highest first-week sales and becoming one of the highest-selling albums of her career.[7][8] The overexposure from the media and public interest in their relationship resulted in less admiration for their work and negatively affected their careers.[9][10][11] Eventually, the couple broke off their engagement and split up by January 2004, devastating Lopez.[12] Following this, the entertainer went on a career hiatus.[13] Just months later that June, Lopez married Marc Anthony, who she had previously dated in 1999.[14] A month later, Lopez stated that she felt renewed. She stated, "I feel like this is my phase two, like it's a new beginning. Like everything I did before really doesn't matter."[15] She also chose to be more private stating, "I don't want to talk about anything that is personal or private at all, because what's the use? You're open with people, and then they try and make a soap opera out of your life".[16]

Development[edit]

"I decided to call it Rebirth because I had taken a vacation for the first time in a long time. I'm a bit of a workaholic, and when I came back it felt I was in a different phase of my career, as well as life, and the title represents a new beginning."

—Lopez on the album's title.[17]

In October 2004, it was reported that Lopez was in the studio working with Sean Garrett.[18] That December, it was announced that the album would be titled Rebirth, her first album in over two years. MTV News confirmed that guest artists such as Fat Joe, Fabolous and Anthony would appear on the album, as well as a few song titles.[19] The album's title was very personal to Lopez, who felt reborn and wanted to be rid of the "J-Lo" diva persona the public believed her to be. According to Digital Spy, Lopez stated, "I'm not J.Lo, she's not a real person. She was just a bit of fun that got really crazy. I've never been anyone but Jennifer." Furthermore, She considered naming the album Call Me Jennifer instead because that would be her "way of saying goodbye to the whole J.Lo thing".[20] This led to confusion with the public as to whether Lopez had dropped her moniker, with Lopez admitting that her comments were blown out of proportion. She later stated, "You can call me J-Lo or you could call me Jennifer or you could call me Jenny - I don't care!"[21] Having recorded the album after a six-month hiatus,[22] Lopez felt that she was "back where she started". Explaining that her she was "on such a roller-coaster ride" from her first album to This Is Me... Then, she stated, "[when] I came back, this was the first project I did. I felt like it was a new beginning for me, like I was, in a way, reborn. I was where I was when I made my first album."[23]

Rebirth is dedicated to Paige Peterson,[24] an eleven year old cancer patient whom Lopez befriended during visits to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Peterson passed away in November 2004.[25]

Composition[edit]

A twenty-six second sample of "Step Into My World". Containing a flute sample, the song is influenced by African music and contains breathy vocals. In the song, Lopez urges her lover to step into her desirable world.[26][27]

A twenty-six second sample of "He'll Be Back". A break-up song produced by Timbaland, which was speculated to be about Lopez's ex Ben Affleck.[28]

Problems playing these files? See media help.

Rebirth predominantly consists of dance and hip hop music, while also incorporating '80s pop-rock.[16][29] Lopez was influenced by James Brown music when creating Rebirth.[22] The album opens with the song "Get Right", an R&B, dance-pop and funk-influenced song written by Rich Harrison, which contains heavy horn instrumentation. The song was originally recorded by Usher with the title "Ride" for his album Confessions, but was scrapped.[30] "Step Into My World" contains African music influences, and is sung by Lopez through a breathy vocal.[26][27]

"Hold You Down" is "mellow" R&B song which features Fat Joe. It samples Shirley Murdock's "As We Lay". The track was a "last minute" add to Rebirth. Lopez recruited Fat Joe for the song because it was a "friendship record", and she didn't want to do it with anybody else. He said, "We don't talk every day, but we got mad love for each other whenever we see each other. It's always crazy love."[31] "Whatever You Wanna Do", also written and produced by Harrison, makes use of drums and horn instrumentals. "Cherry Pie" is an uptempo pop-rock song which features drums and an electric guitar; Lopez describes the song as having a "Prince vibe".[28][22] "I Got You" written and produced by Jerkins lyrically speaks about her secretive relationship with Anthony, with lyrics such as "Sometimes real love can be not seen ’cause you’re thinking what’s right in front of you can’t be the one for you."[28]

"Still Around" is a summer influenced R&B song which lyrically speaks about undying love. Anthony makes a spoken appearance in the track.[26] "Ryde or Die" is an intense R&B and Hip-hop track which was written by Brandy Norwood for her unreleased album. The song was later given to Lopez who recorded it, with Norwood singing background vocals. "I, Love" is a mid-tempo song which contains staccato percussion and airy synths. The song's lyrics have Lopez convincing her lover that she cares about him, and that their chemistry isn't "pretend" or "make-believe", with her even stating that she'd die before hurting him.[26][32] "He'll Be Back" and "(Cant Believe) This Is Me", the album's final tracks, have been said to address lingering issues in Lopez's own love life. "He'll Be Back", produced by Timbaland, has been viewed as a "dis song" to Ben Affleck, in which Lopez sings, "I know better than anybody how it feels to want somebody so bad after you breakup."[28] "(Cant Believe) This Is Me" is a power ballad produced by Anthony, which references "every link in J.Lo's long relationship chain".[26]

Release and promotion[edit]

During the album's December 2004 release party in Stockholm, Sweden, Lopez and Anthony abruptly left the event because of reportedly disruptive loud men who were under the influence of alcohol.[33] That month, Lopez also traveled to the United Kingdom to promote Rebirth, being interviewed by radio stations such as Capital FM.[34] Rebirth was first released in Germany and the United Kingdom on February 28, 2005.[35][36] In the United States, it was released by Epic Records on March 1, 2005. It was also released by Sony Entertainment in most other regions, including Australia.[37] On January 4, 2005, Lopez engaged in a live chat on MSN.com with her fans, in which she answered questions about Rebirth and its conception.[17] On the day of the album's release, Lopez appeared at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square, New York City, where she signed copies of the CD.[23] On March 3, she appeared at Hot 97's Full Frontal Hip Hop concert.[23]

Lopez was slated to embark on a short promotional tour in European cities as well as Dubai, but cancelled it.[38] She later put out a statement saying that she was ill, "I very much wanted to be in London today but unfortunately I'm not well. At the advice of my doctors I'm unable to travel. Being sick has also caused me to cancel my European album tour."[39] Lopez had expressed her hopes to embark on a world tour to support Rebirth. She told MTV News: "I've tried to plan a tour so many times. And we're planning it again. It's exciting." Lopez explained that her film career made it hard for her to tour, "It's been hard to map out that amount of time to really do it right."[40] However, details for a tour were never unveiled and it subsequently never occurred.[41]

Rebirth produced just two singles. "Get Right" was released on January 3, 2005.[17] America Online broadcast the music video the previous day, while MTV screened the video's creation on Making the Video on January 5. The following day, the full music video aired on Total Request Live, BET and FUSE.[42] In the music video directed by Francis Lawrence, Lopez plays a number of different characters in a nightclub, "examining all the little moments that happen almost simultaneously in a nightclub during the duration of a single song".[43] "Get Right" charted at number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart.[44] "Hold You Down" featuring Fat Joe was released as the album's second and final single. It peaked at number 64 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song being released as a single was criticized, with PopMatters describing it as an "ill-fated, milquetoast duet".[29]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 52[45]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[46]
The A.V. Club (mixed)[47]
Entertainment Weekly D+[48]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[49]
Los Angeles Times (mixed)[50]
PopMatters 4/10 stars[29]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[51]
Slant 2.5/5 stars[52]
Uncut 3.5/5 stars[45]
Yahoo! Music UK 7/10 stars[53]

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from music critics, the album received an average score of 52, which indicates "mixed or average reviews", based on nine reviews.[45] Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine praised Rebirth as a "straight-ahead dance album, alternating between sweet, breezy pop tunes" and stated that whilst Lopez was not a "flashy singer", she was appealing on the record due to the fact that she was able to present her limitations in "tuneful packages with big, exciting beats".[46] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone was unfavorable of the album, calling Lopez a "rinky-dink pop singer".[51] Yahoo! Music's Dan Gennoe spoke positively of the album in comparison to the singer's previous works, stating that Lopez has "finally turned the autopilot off and decided to take her pop career seriously. The album’s called Rebirth for a reason."[53] Nathan Robin of The A.V. Club described Lopez's vocals as "heavily processed", giving the album a mixed review whilst opining that the album's first half "packs a certain fizzy effervescence, but the album sags as it approaches the finishing line."[47] Entertainment Weekly's David Browne described Rebirth as "mild" and was unfavorable, stating that Lopez "wants her music to be inoffensive and as easy to swallow as baby food" so that it could appeal to a wide consumer base.[48]

Alexis Petridis of The Guardian gave the album a mixed review, concluding, "Despite the highlights, you're still left pondering the question: what happened to Jennifer Lopez?"[27] Today Music '​s Tracy Hopkins observed, "Rebirth is a satisfying listen, but fans who like their Jenny from the block hot and spicy will be slightly disappointed by the disc’s milder dance-pop flavor."[28] Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani wrote in summation that the album "kind of is like a rebirth, but it's mostly just another Jennifer Lopez record: a few good songs, some badly sung filler, great production, and a whole team of collaborators to make it all work".[52] Mike Schiller of PopMatters argued that Rebirth is "anything but the renaissance that its title promises", calling it a "slight shift in style" for Lopez which features "the occasional surprise" and is "totally harmless".[29]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, Rebirth performed moderately. It debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 261,000 copies. This was below This Is Me... Then, which sold 314,000 copies in its opening week.[54] The following week, the album dropped to number four, with sales of 87,000 copies.[55] During its third week on the chart, Rebirth fell to number seven, selling 60,000 copies, bringing its total after three weeks to 408,000.[56] It slipped to number twenty the following week with sales of 27,000 copies.[57] On April 14, 2005, Rebirth was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of over one million copies.[58] By June 2005, the album had fallen out of the chart's top 100.[59] As of 2014, it has sold 745,000 copies in the US.[60]

Rebirth entered the Canadian Albums Chart at number two, selling 19,700 copies.[61] It was eventually certified platinum by Music Canada, marking shipments of 100,000 copies.[62] It reached number eight on the UK Albums Chart, selling 41,000 copies during its first week.[63] It had sold over 124,000 copies by the year's end, and was certified gold.[64][65]

Track listing[edit]

Rebirth
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Get Right"  
3:45
2. "Step Into My World"  
  • Jerkins
  • Jerkins III
  • Diaz
  • Rooney[a]
4:05
3. "Hold You Down" (featuring Fat Joe)
  • Nyce Boy
  • Bruno
  • Rooney
4:32
4. "Whatever You Wanna Do"  
  • Harrison
  • Rooney
3:49
5. "Cherry Pie"  
4:06
6. "I Got U"  
  • Jerkins
  • Rooney[a]
3:57
7. "Still Around"  
3:22
8. "Ryde or Die"   4:03
9. "I, Love"  
  • Kelley
  • Robinson
  • Rooney
  • Tim & Bob
  • Rooney
3:42
10. "He'll Be Back"   4:18
11. "(Can't Believe) This Is Me"  
Marc Anthony 4:44
12. "Get Right" (featuring Fabolous)
  • Harrison
  • Brown
  • Harrison
  • Rooney
3:50
Total length:
48:13
Notes[24]

Personnel[edit]

Charts and Certifications[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Country Certification
Australia Gold[83]
Canada Platinum[62]
France Gold[84]
Hungary Gold[85]
Ireland Gold[86]
Japan Gold[87]
Switzerland Gold[88]
United Kingdom Gold[65]
United States Platinum[89]

Chart precessions[edit]

Preceded by
All Systems Go! by Di-rect
Dutch Albums Chart number-one album
March 5, 2005
Succeeded by
Hotel New York by Anouk
Preceded by
American Idiot by Green Day
Swiss Albums Chart number-one album
March 13, 2005
Succeeded by
Le train des Enfoirés by Les Enfoirés
European Top 100 Albums number-one album
March 19, 2005
Succeeded by
The Massacre by 50 Cent

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Jennifer Lopez, husband Cris Judd split after 8 months of marriage". San Jose Mercury News (California). June 8, 2002. 
  2. ^ Silverman, Stephen (November 11, 2002). "Ben's Proposal 'Beautiful,' Says Lopez". People. Retrieved October 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ Williams, Jeanne (December 10, 2002). "J. Lo, Ben make first appearance as fiances". USA Today. p. 2. 
  4. ^ "Neologisms. These are neologisms collected by an undergraduate linguistics class at Rice University during the fall of 2003". ruf.rice.edu. Retrieved June 22, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Celebrity Name Game". People. November 23, 2005. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ Reid, Shaheem (October 29, 2012). "Jennifer Lopez Feels Ben Affleck's Love, Sports Big Pink Rock To Prove It". MTV News. Viacom International Inc. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  7. ^ Harris, Chris (October 17, 2007). "Kid Rock's Jesus Overpowers Bruce Springsteen's Magic On Billboard Chart". MTV News. Viacom International, Inc. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  8. ^ Trust, Gary (October 1, 2010). "Ask Billboard: Analyzing 'American Idol'". Billboard (Neilsen Business Media). Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Top Celebrity Supercouples of All Time". Comcast/Comcast Interactive Media. 2009. Retrieved December 5, 2009. 
  10. ^ Bonin, Liane (October 31, 2003). "Pot Pans Kettle. Madonna calls J.Lo overexposed. The Material Girl says Bennifer could have avoided the media meltdown that postponed their wedding". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  11. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (December 9, 2002). "Overexposed? Is There Too Much J.Lo?". People. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  12. ^ "J-Lo and Ben in love split". Daily Mail (London: Associated Newspapers Ltd). Retrieved April 9, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Grammys To See 'Rebirth' Of J.Lo". CBS News. Associated Press. Retrieved April 9, 2013. 
  14. ^ Dansby, Andrew (June 7, 2004). "J.Lo, Marc Anthony Marry". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved April 9, 2013. 
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  16. ^ a b "JLo tries to put focus back on singing". NewsTimes.com. March 3, 2005. Retrieved April 9, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c "Jennifer Lopez Says New Album Is A True Rebirth For Her". Yahoo! Music News. January 7, 2005. Retrieved April 9, 2013. 
  18. ^ Mitchell, Gail (October 9, 2004). "Garrett Takes His Songwriting Seriously". Yahoo! Music News. Retrieved April 9, 2013. 
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  53. ^ a b (Archived) review by Yahoo! Music UK at the Wayback Machine (archived October 28, 2005)
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External links[edit]