Actress Jennifer Lopez's debut recording isn't the usual Hollywood vanity project. Before her current role as bombshell du jour, she trained as a singer and dancer (and landed a gig as a Fly Girl on "In Living Color"). And although Lopez has starred in "Out of Sight," "Money Train," and "Selena," she isn't coming from Tinseltown on this recording.
The title of the album, ON THE 6, refers to the subway line Lopez took to and from auditions while growing up in the Bronx, and the songs play like her account of her favorites and influences. That means the '80s and the Latin- and hip-hop-tinged dance-pop of groups like Exposé, the Cover Girls, and, most importantly, Lisa Lisa. Lopez calls her music "Latin soul," and there are elements of both styles on this engaging recording. Rodney Jerkins produced the single "If You Had My Love," which bears his trademark combination of high gloss and easygoing bounce, while Latin superstar Marc Anthony joins Lopez on "No Me Ames." On the hip-hop tip, "Feelin' So Good" features rhymes by Big Punisher and Fat Joe, and the track was produced by Sean "Puffy" Combs. Other big-time producers like the Trackmasters and Emilio Estefan contribute to the recording, but they never upstage the star, who shows throughout that she's a singer, not an actress trying to sing.