ⓘ Dance Again. the Hits
Dance Again. the Hits is the first greatest hits album of American singer Jennifer Lopez. It was released on July 20, 2012, by Epic Records, to coincide with the launch of her first world tour, the Dance Again World Tour. Lopez previously conceived plans for a greatest hits album in 2009, but instead opted to use the material recorded for her seventh studio album, Love?, which was released by Island Records in May 2011 after her departure from Epic Records in 2010. As Lopez owed the label one last album to fulfill her contract, she began work on a new greatest hits album in November 2011. She later became unsure whether she wanted to go along with plans to release a greatest hits album or a new studio album, eventually deciding on the former.
Dance Again. the Hits comprises eleven previously released tracks, and two new recordings: "Dance Again" and "Goin In". A deluxe edition of the album was also released, featuring three additional previously released tracks, and a DVD featuring a selection of eleven music videos. The album received generally positive reviews from music critics, who praised it as a reflection of Lopezs success. Some critics expressed their disappointment in the absence of several successful singles, but deemed this as impressive, noting that this may have been due to the large volume of hit singles she has released over the years. Dance Again. The Hits was a moderate commercial success, peaking within the top ten in fourteen national charts, and the top twenty in ten national charts.
1. Background and development
Following the commercial failure of her sixth studio album Brave 2007 - and while pregnant with twins Max and Emme - Lopez began working on new music for a future project in 2008. The project was kept under wraps until February 2009 when a new song from the recording sessions titled "Hooked on You" leaked online. Following the leak of "Hooked on You", "One Love" and "What Is Love?" were subsequently leaked online in May. The leaked songs were, at the time, meant to appear on a greatest hits album that later turned into a studio album.
"Louboutins", a song written and produced by The-Dream and C. "Tricky" Stewart, was released as the lead single from her seventh studio album, Love?, in November 2009. However, upon release, the song failed to garner enough airplay to chart, despite topping the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart. Lopez subsequently left Epic Records in February 2010, citing that she had fulfilled her contractual obligations and now wished to release Love? under a new label. Her departure from the label temporarily halted production on the album, however upon signing a new contract with Island Records, recording resumed on the album. The New York Daily News revealed that Lopez would be taking some of the records recorded under Epic Records to Island Records so that they could be included on the album.
"On the Floor", Lopezs first single with the label, was released in February 2011. The song topped the charts across the globe, becoming one of the most successful singles of the year. Following the release of "On the Floor", Love? produced two moderately successful singles: "Im Into You" and "Papi", both of which topped the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart. Love? itself was a moderate commercial success and was viewed as a humble comeback from Lopez, as many had considered her recording career over. It was announced in November that Lopez was again working on new material for a greatest hits album. The following month, Lopez revealed that she had been playing some of her new music for L.A. Reid, who signed her to Island Records and left the label to become the CEO and chairman of Epic Records. This led further speculation that Lopez had moved back to Epic Records, which was first reported in July. The reports were later confirmed untrue, as Lopez was back with Epic Records because she owed the label one final album to end her contract, despite previously announcing that she had fulfilled her contract with them.
2. New material
Lopez began working on a "collection of songs" in 2011, unaware of what she was "going to do with them". At the time, she was deciding whether she wanted to release a greatest hits album or a new studio album. Lopez stated that when it comes time to make an album, she doesnt sit down and write for the entire thing. She revealed that she is always working on new music and that her albums "happen organically" when she has recorded enough material. Lopez explained: "I dont ever stop. I keep going with it. These records, like Follow the Leader, just seemed like the perfect one." She further explained that the style of the song "really fit Flo Rida"; "It was half-dance, but half kind of hard too."
3. Critical reception
Dance Again. The Hits received generally positive reviews from contemporary music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 72, based on four reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine wrote that the "most immediately striking thing" about the compilation is "just how many hits does have the familiar tunes, so it serves its purpose".
Irving Tan of Sputnikmusic put Dance Again. The Hits into the category of a greatest hits album that "you get facial brickbat of moderate-to-raw disappointment at the discovery of how thin and forced the artists discography really is". He wrote that having another artist featured on nine of the thirteen tracks "gives the impression that as a product, having Jennifer Lopez alone is simply not enough". He further criticized the decision to include the Murder remixes of "Aint It Funny" and "Im Real" over the original studio versions, stating that it was almost like "Sony Music held their hands up and admitted that the initial cuts that they published simply werent up to scratch". Tan concluded that for a greatest hits album, the track listing is "simply all over the place", with no indication that the record executives or Lopez "looked around for a logical start" or an "easy access ramp to her seven-album canon".
4. Commercial performance
Dance Again. the Hits enjoyed moderate commercial success in the United States, peaking at number 20 on the Billboard 200 the week of its debut with sales of 14.000 copies. The album performed better on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums component chart, where it managed to reach number six. After a month, the album had sold 38.000 copies in the United States. As of December 2012, Dance Again. the Hits is Lopezs second lowest charting effort in the country; only The Reel Me achieved a lower chart position in 2003, peaking at number 69. On the UK Albums Chart, Dance Again. the Hits debuted at number four with sales of 9.213 copies in its first week of release, matching the peak of J to Tha L-O!: The Remixes in that country.
Overseas, Dance Again. the Hits performed well in most music markets, reaching the top ten in fourteen national charts, five of which were in the first five positions. Its highest position came from the Canadian Albums chart, where the album achieved number three. The album reached the same peak on the Italian Albums chart. Other countries where the album managed to score a high peak were Spain number five, the Czech Republic number six and Switzerland number seven. On the Australian Albums Chart, the album had a moderate commercial performance, reaching number 20; her previous compilation album, J to tha L–O! The Remixes, achieved a higher position of number 11. In Latin America, the album appeared on the Mexican Album chart, reaching a peak of number 10.
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