If Jennifer Lopez
releasing new music in 2018 comes as a surprise to you, then no one could really fault you for not paying attention. It's been nearly four years since she released her last full-length, the mostly forgettable A.K.A
. which failed to garner much critical acclaim, and though she released a handful of singles over the last few years, they stuck mostly to the Latin charts, and there's been no indication that she had big plans in the making until today.
Without warning, J. Lo dropped a new single titled "Us" today, along with the announcement that a full-length album is in the works, set to drop later this year. Unlike her previous two singles, which were sung in Spanish and peaked relatively low in the charts (at least for someone of J. Lo's magnitude), "Us" is a club-tailored dance hit aimed at recapturing the attention of American audiences.
If there's something to take away from the new single, it's that Lopez is hip to the necessity to adapt to and stay fresh with changing markets and tastes, as she tapped Skrillex to handle production. Blending elements of latin dancehall and traditional EDM, "Us" is actually a pretty sophisticated piece of work for the singer, incorporating a variety of sounds that keep it modern, yet unique enough to stand out in an oversaturated pop and electronic market. If you were still doubting him, Skrillex has pretty much fully transitioned out of dubstep at this point, and "Us" bears the signature markings that he's developed in Jack U alongside Diplo. Besides the sunny and bouncing rhythm, "Us" employs a tool that Skrillex and Diplo have been using to great effect lately, pitch-shifted vocals to mock instrumentation. Much like the "flute" that was actually Justin Bieber's vocals in "Where Are U Now", Lopez's voice gets modulated into a variety of sounds including airy flute effects and synth imitations, and the result adds another layer of depth that flirts between vocals and instrumentation.
All in all, it's a fun and easy-going track, but more importantly, a sign that Lopez doesn't plan on getting old anytime soon, at least without putting up a good fight. Lopez's ninth-studio album, currently unnamed, is set to release later this year.