Jennifer Lopez has announced her highly-anticipated return to music with a new album and accompanying film titled This Is Me… Now, scheduled for release on February 14, 2023 (Valentine’s Day). Both projects will chronicle the emotional journey of her rekindled romance with Ben Affleck.
Background on Lopez’s Musical Hiatus
The album marks Lopez’s first full-length record in over 8 years, since 2014’s A.K.A. She has sporadically released singles in the interim, contributing to film soundtracks and a Spanish language track in 2022. However, this upcoming record represents a momentous musical comeback for the multifaceted entertainer.
Lopez has focused in recent years on acting projects including the 2019 film Hustlers which earned her critical acclaim, as well as judging reality competition shows. She has also further developed her business empire with cosmetics and fragrance brands.
The length of Lopez’s break from releasing a studio album is highly unusual for a music superstar of her caliber. While she stepped back from music, Lopez remained culturally relevant. However, fans have eagerly awaited her return to the recording studio to create a body of original work.
Parallels to 2002 Album This Is Me… Then
The new album’s title directly references Lopez’s 2002 record This Is Me… Then. At the time, she was newly engaged to Affleck after the pair met in 2002 while filming the movie Gigli.
That album capture the giddy, romantic feelings of her high-profile relationship with Affleck. Singles like "Jenny From the Block" and "Dear Ben" overtly described their love and intense tabloid attention.
|This Is Me… Then
|This Is Me… Now
Unfortunately, Lopez and Affleck called off their engagement in 2004 and went on to separately marry other people. However, they rekindled their romance in 2021, nearly 20 years after first dating.
Their whirlwind reunion included getting engaged and married in 2022. Lopez even legally changed her name to Jennifer Affleck.
The similar album titles and timing indicate that Lopez will offer a bookend to chronicle this unexpected second chance with the revived "Bennifer" romance.
Trailer Teases Epic Love Story Spanning 20 Years
On November 25th, Lopez released an enigmatic trailer teasing the joint album and film project on social media. "This is me then, this is me now," she narrates over romantic scenes of couples dancing and kissing on the beach.
Affleck himself appears on camera writing a handwritten love letter to Lopez. The trailer confirms his direct involvement as a writer and filmmaker shaping this artistic work.
The trailer’s soaring music and Lopez’s emotional voiceover signals that this will be an unabashed celebration and reflection on rediscovering a once-in-a-lifetime love after the passage of time.
"That mutual dream that felt out of reach is now our reality," Lopez says meaningfully at the trailer’s conclusion.
The trailer indicates the project will ambitiously attempt to capture a sprawling, cinematic love story spanning over 20 years. Lopez seems poised to interweave film dramatizations alongside a confessional, diary-like album about this uncommon experience.
Musical Comeback Timed to Lopez’s Personal Life
Throughout her career, Lopez’s musical output has frequently complemented what is occurring in her personal life at that moment.
In 1999, debut album On The 6 came out as her acting career rose to fame. Uptempo Latin-pop fusion reflected her confident, glamorous persona.
2002’s This Is Me… Then expressed settling down with Affleck at the height of public intrigue about their romance.
Post-divorce, the moodier Rebirth (2005) and Como Ama Una Mujer (2007) explored heartbreak and recovery.
The pattern indicates Lopez regards music as a vehicle for creative self-expression capturing precise emotions she is experiencing. Though she is now 53 years old, Lopez still intends to bare her soul and sing transparently about her inner landscape.
Affleck himself noted this fact when praising his wife’s musical artistry upon the album announcement:
“All I can tell you is that every once in a while I get to see early cuts of the documentary Jennifer is working on. Jen puts her heart and soul into everything she does. She’s the hardest working person I know. Whatever she does is off the charts, so I’m excited for people to see her work.”
The lyricism within This Is Me… Now will reveal emotional vulnerability and wisdom gained from the trials of her love affair with Affleck.
Film Explores Why Their Love Endured Over 20 Years
In tandem with the album, Lopez will release a Netflix documentary film offering behind-the-scenes insight into her artistic process and personal story with Affleck.
Little is yet known about the specifics, as Lopez remains secretive to preserve intrigue and suspense. But she described the comprehensive project as a "musical experience" that "combines music, film and the actual reality" of her life.
The film promises to contextualize their romantic history spanning over two decades. Lopez will likely reflect on why this relationship has profoundly impacted her.
Even during years apart after their 2004 split, embers of a connection still lingered before reigniting into full flames in 2021. The film will tackle this phenomenon head-on and analyze why this love endured across distance and other marriages.
Raw, confessional interview segments from both Lopez and Affleck seem probable. The trailer hints that Affleck himself may expand on winning back the love of his life 20 years later after fate interceded.
Release Strategically Times Before Valentine’s Day
The February 14th joint release date for the album and film previews Lopez’s savvy marketing instincts. Launching her musical comeback on the romantic holiday associates both the record and Lopez’s personal brand with notions of true love.
The proximity to Valentine’s Day implies This Is Me… Now will embrace sentimental love anthems dedicated to Affleck. It neatly packages their extraordinary real-life romance as the ultimate model of affection that has passed the test of time.
Additionally, the project will drop mere days before Lopez celebrates her one-year wedding anniversary with Affleck on February 18th. The occasion will amplify public passion for this redemptive, resilient love story.
Lopez Privately Screened Footage for Oscar Contention
In a strong indicator of Lopez’s artistic ambitions, reports emerged that she has already organized Oscars screening events to showcase footage from her untitled documentary.
Academy members and awards strategists were invited to special presentations in Los Angeles and New York City. Oscar pundits noted that December is extremely early to debut work targeting 2024.
This move demonstrates Lopez is playing the long game to build sustained buzz rather than doing a last-minute push. It also signals she considers this passion project to be the best artistic work of her career thus far.
Lopez is likely hoping the film earns prestigious Oscar or Golden Globe nominations for Best Documentary. Reviews will determine if her self-reflective chronicle stands out from standard celebrity documentaries. But given A-list directing and production talent attached, Lopez is clearly chasing Hollywood awards cred.
Impact on Lopez’s Broader Career Brand
Professionally, the tandem film and album represents Lopez diversifying her brand portfolio beyond acting, judging reality TV contests, or performing concerts.
This Is Me… Now anoints her as multidimensional creative force who can step wholly behind the camera and define her own narratives. Reviews and fan reception toward this vanity project focused on her personal life will measure if the public buys into the Lopez mythology she is constructing.
Commercially, the project seems strategically targeted to thrust Lopez back towards cultural relevancy beyond tabloid fame. A hit confessional album along with stirring Netflix content could re-solidify Lopez’s artistic clout.
If achieved, it would mirror other Las Vegas residency divas like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry who all reignited music domination by baring their souls. For Lopez, who languished without new solo music for so long, time will tell if unleashing her vulnerability reaps similar artistic dividends.
The deafening hype Lopez is orchestrating makes clear she is staking her legacy on the success of This Is Me… Now.
Outlook: 2023 Shaping Up as Lopez’s Career-Defining Year
Regardless of any awards or charts achieved, Lopez insists to audiences that profound personal fulfillment matters more to her now than accolades. As quoted by TODAY:
“I just feel so blessed that I get to do all these amazing things and display different facets of who I am…My life is sweeter than I could have imagined.”
With a soaring film and album about recovered love releasing on the heels of Lopez’s fairy tale wedding, 2023 seems primed to be the most beautiful year of her life.
The results of This Is Me… Now will determine whether if professionally, the project also marks the artistic peak that Lopez’s multifaceted career has been building towards for decades.
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.