Marry Me

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Universal Studios / Sony Latin, 2022

REVIEW BY: Peter Piatkowski

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/09/2022

It seems perfect that the latest album by Jennifer Lopez is a companion to her latest film, the romantic comedy, Marry Me. It’s also perfect that in the film, Lopez stars as a pop star. It’s the ideal blurring of a screen persona with a pop persona. For the entirety of her career, it was clear that Lopez was never interested in just being a movie star or just a pop star. Instead, she was aiming for the kind of career that artists like Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Whitney Houston, or Cher enjoyed. She wanted to become an Entertainer. So, her new album is her A Star Is Born, Beaches, The Bodyguard, or Burlesque. It wouldn’t even matter if the music was any good because the album would just be part of the sum of Lopez’s celebrity. Luckily, the music on Marry Me is mostly solid, entertaining pop which plays to the considerable strengths of its headlining diva.

A quick look at the small army that was tasked to write and produce the songs on the album is dizzying. However, despite the long credit list, there’s a pleasing consistency to the album; none of the songs sounds out of place. The aim was to create an expansive, expensive record to complement the rom-com and the soundtrack more than achieves the goal. It helps that the film’s title and plot – marriage – provide the record with a unifying theme that ties the songs – which include dance-pop, Latin-pop, reggaeton, and love ballads – together.

The album’s lead single, “Pa' Ti” pairs Lopez with her Marry Me costar, Latin-pop superstar Maluma. It’s a smart union because a performer with a celebrity as overwhelming as Lopez needs a duet partner with equal amounts of charisma and star quality, and Maluma more than fits the bill. The tune is a thoughtful, toned down reggaeton number that allows for the sexy chemistry of the two singers to shine through. Both stars give appealing, laidback performances, relaxed and comfortable, that match the charming production (courtesy of Jon Leone and Edgar Barrera).my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Maluma and Lopez also share the mic on the album’s frisky title track. The propulsive dance-pop song is tailor-made for Lopez and fits her snugly like a Versace evening gown. Maluma gallantly lets his duet partner steal the show as she excels on peppy, catchy disco-pop like “Marry Me.” The sassy tune is also remade as a customary movie theme pop ballad, and though the cinematic orchestration affectations are fine, the sapping of the energy of the dance version makes the song somewhat ponderous and dull. The sparkly dance tune is far better.

Though Lopez gets top billing, Maluma has two solo spots on this record and his contributions are bright spots. “1 En 1 Million” is a great showcase of the singer’s silken vocals and sensual charisma. The reggaeton-pop tune is a summery, good-natured song that is graceful and slinky. His other solo number is the excellent ballad, “Segundo” that gives Maluma a chance to stretch his vocals, with his voice slipping into an alluring belt in the song’s chorus.

But as indispensable as Maluma’s contributions to Marry Me are (he’s essential to the record’s success), Lopez dominates the proceedings with her usual glittery pop diva persona. Though she doesn’t possess the strongest or mightiest voice, years of being in the biz has allowed her to hone her crooning skills, and at this point in her singing career, she has developed her singing talent and has a very pretty, pink-toned voice that does exceptionally well on candy-coated pop gems like “Love Of My Life” or “After Love.” Like any great dance diva, Lopez understands that attitude and swagger is more important than impressive vocal pyrotechnics and she has swagger and confidence to burn. It also helps that she’s given solid material, too.

Ultimately, the reason why Marry Me works so well is that it fulfills its mission: to contribute to Lopez’s Hollywood superstardom. Few performers worked so doggedly and with so much naked ambition to create a legend as Lopez has; she took copious notes from artists like Madonna and Janet Jackson, and then set off to build a career as impressive as theirs. The ballad “On My Way” is the perfect encapsulation of Lopez’s agenda with Marry Me: like any great movie musical crossover diva, she demands and claims her pop crown with a big, melodramatic movie power ballad. It’s a shamelessly calculated move, but so what? It’s very entertaining and few pop divas embrace their diva=dom in the fabulous way that Lopez does. And why shouldn’t she? Few entertainers work so hard to please their audiences. Marry Me may just be pop fluff, but it’s brilliantly constructed pop fluff that serves a purpose: to entertain.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2022 Peter Piatkowski and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Universal Studios / Sony Latin, and is used for informational purposes only.