Jennifer Lopez had been struggling to release her long overdue album Love? since 2008. As the record is finally going to hit shelves and online retailers, Lopez has released a series of promotional singles through iTunes, anticipating the release of the full album.

‘Papi’ might sound as a saucy Latin flavored number, oozing sexiness to the core, but on the contrary it isn’t any of that. It sounds like a Kat Deluna knock off, to the point of being strikingly similar to Deluna’s ‘Whine Up’ opening; though Lopez makes it sound credible at least. Deluna is not a good reference, if a reference at all, considering she is probably one of the most unsuccessful Latin acts to hit the U.S. scene. Comparing Deluna to a star of Lopez’s stardom status is murder, but that doesn’t take away the song being definitely Deluna sounding. Maybe blame can be attributed to the producer, RedOne, who crafted all of Deluna’s early work for 9 Lives released in 2008, and was also in charge of reviving Lopez’s then ill fated Love? project after a label drop and move to Island Def Jam.

The chorus is poorly written consisting only of repeated ‘Move your body, rock your body, dance for your Papi’ sequences in between dance beats, before she invites women to get their hands up in the air if they care. It isn’t all that really. The opening percussion might sound massive and appealing, but when the underlaid beat synth kicks in is a major turn off. The breakdown is the only diverse segment of the song, where she fastly recites a bunch of seductive ways to ‘dance for your papi’ where she also does them in a breathy Spanish tone, but other than that is it just major blah. It is listenable, it is certified fun but when not really paying much attention to its content.

The concept behind the song is just to please men, to be catering and attentive of their needs.  That, plus a thumping beat, just reflects another pop song, but this one does not even have any punch line, nor a climactic point where one can really say it takes it to another level. It is monotonous and lacks a proper musical build-up. It goes on and on leading nowhere. There have been many songs with amazing beats and incredible hooks without holding any sense of substance, but at least they get the catchy treatment to make up for the mediocrity in lyrics, but ‘Papi’ is really none of the aforementioned standards. It is just a dance song with random words thrown in.

‘Papi’ is just an album cut, and tries too much to revive the Latin vibe in Jennifer and re-do the vibes of ‘Let’s Get Loud’. Hopely it won’t see any proper release as an official single off Love? because it sounds too much as a rehash of ‘On the Floor’ meeting Kat Deluna. ‘On The Floor’ was something else, ‘Papi’ is simply a failed sexy try-hard.

★★1/2

C.Perez

Download ‘Papi’

Love? already available.