Jennifer Lopez Is Not Doing The Whole “Alter Ego” Thing All That Well

“Fresh Out The Oven,” the yeasty new single from the Jennifer Lopez alter-ego Lola, is apparently not a prelude to an entire album in which the determined diva takes on the persona of someone who likes to wear really complicated shoes. According to sources who were obligated to leak something positive about the song to People, “Oven” is merely a “fun” track that’ll serve as an amuse for the follow-up to her 2007 flop Brave. It’s going to be called Love?, and it is apparently set to drop in January. Just in time for the holiday season to be over and people to need something to spend their store credit on! A serious question—why shovel money into a Jennifer Lopez record at all, let alone one that’s going to come out in the immediate aftermath of the Great Stampede For The Record-Retail Door that’s going to take place once this year’s holiday season is over? First, let’s look at precedent: Brave was an absolute disaster, notable more for the money that was wasted on its cover than for any of the music actually on it. And it came out two years ago, which was a positively rosy time for record sales and awareness of pop artists compared to the current moment. (Brave‘s first-week sales totals of 53,000 copies could probably at least notch it a top-10 spot on the album charts, as opposed to the No. 12 showing it posted in its debut week two years ago.) And second, we have the whole “will the market care” idea. The idea of putting out a Jennifer Lopez album—which is to say, an album that requires the participation of a populace who gives enough of a hoot about pop stars to actively keep up with them, and then once that hurdle is cleared to spend money on said stars’ efforts, in order to break even, let alone succeed—in the current moment seems like a terrible idea, one that’s only slightly less wasteful than flushing dollars down an executive-suite toilet. Surely Epic Records’ resources could be better used on, say, any other artist on this list? Well, maybe not Michael Jackson, because he’s been doing pretty OK on his own lately. But still.FIRST LISTEN: Jennifer Lopez’s Dance Track ‘Fresh Out of the Oven’ [People] Earlier: Jennifer Lopez Enters The Flop-Record Protection Program