Is JLo ready for a career renaissance?
It seems like no other pop star has had to make as many comebacks as Jennifer Lopez, who debuted her latest single effort on the American Idol series finale Thursday night. While “Ain’t Your Mama” doesn’t have enough oomph to revitalize her career the same way “On the Floor” did in 2011, it’s a welcomed reminder that JLo has been a consistent hitmaker for nearly two decades.
“Ain’t Your Mama” checks all the right boxes we've come to expect from JLo: a peppy dance beat, a zesty Latin flare, and a sassy narrative. On the song, she laments that her lover has gotten “too comfortable,” proclaiming “I ain’t gonna be cooking all day, I ain’t your mama / I ain’t gonna do your laundry, I ain’t your mama.”
With its urban influences, the power anthem has shades of Fifth Harmony, so it should come as no surprise that it was written by Meghan Trainor, who penned several tracks on the girl group’s debut album. Trainor’s influence over “Ain’t Your Mama” is ever present, from the pseudo-feminist theme to her backing vocals that bleed into JLo’s on the chorus. Still, Lopez keeps control of the song. She sounds better than ever here, as she's finally abandoned her lofty vocal ambitions and is using her reedy voice to her advantage.
The dark cloud surrounding JLo’s return to the music scene, of course, is the fact that the song was co-written and produced by accused rapist Dr. Luke. If you’re able to separate the man from the music, “Ain’t Your Mama” is an enjoyable, breezy springtime jam. Otherwise, it can be a little unnerving to listen to a woman assert her independence and demand respect knowing that Dr. Luke is cashing a royalty check every time you do. Listen below and make your final verdict.