- Released: November 26, 2002
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Entertainment Weekly - 12/13/02, pp.79-80
"...A spacious-sounding affair that eschews the heavy-handed production that marred her first two efforts; the vibe is more Minnie Riperton than Missy Elliot..." - Rating: B
Personnel includes: Jennifer Lopez (vocals); Jadakiss, Styles, LL cool J (rap vocals); Reggie Hamlet (acoustic guitar, bass); Renee Toledo (acoustic guitar); Kamil Rustaru (electric guitar); Verdine White (bass); Omar Hakim (drums); Troy Oliver, Dan Shea (programming); B-Money (vinyl scratches); Lakindra Pierce, Natasha Ramos, Billy Lawrence, Tavia Ivey (background vocals).
Producers include: Rick Shelton, Troy Oliver, Cory Rooney, Focus, Reggie Hamlet.
Recorded at Hit Factory, New York, New York.
In the titles of both her debut, ON THE 6 (as in the NYC subway to the Bronx), and her 2002 release, THIS IS ME...THEN, Jennifer Lopez makes the assertion that in spite of her mega-successful movie career and her high profile, paparazzi-fodder dating life (from Puff Daddy to Ben Affleck), she is still just "Jenny from the Block," as this album's first single proclaims; a simple girl from the Bronx. That your average non-movie-star from the Bronx could probably not obtain a record deal so readily is a moot point, since Lopez can indeed sing and is undeniably a presence both visually and sonically.
Despite the unshakeable dance bounce of the aforementioned single, most of the record grooves with an almost '70s-sounding mellow vibe, including a faithful cover of Carly Simon's 1978 hit "You Belong to Me." Perhaps this smoothness is due to the one facet of J-Lo that belies her larger-than-life mystique; the love she wears on her sleeve. Even if you'd taken lodging in a cave during 2002, her courtship with fellow movie star Ben Affleck is apparent on this record from the self-explanatory "Dear Ben" to the glow in love songs like "The One."