(What is) Love is a song recorded by Jennifer Lopez.
Originally entitled "What Is Love?", the song appeared on the soundtrack to the 2010 film "The Back-up Plan" which she stars in.
The song was later included on her seventh studio album Love? as the album's title track.
"(What Is) Love?" is a midtempo electropop song written by Diana "Wynter" Gordon, with the song's producer Emile "D'Mile" Dernst II. The song is about "not knowing what love is."
A remix of "(What Is) Love?", entitled "What Is Love? Part II" was produced by Jean-Baptiste.
It was considered for inclusion on "Love?" and was leaked onto the internet in April of 2013.
"(What Is) Love?" received generally positive acclaim from music critics, who compared it to her work circa 2003.
The song was due to be released as a promotional single from Love? on April 26, 2011, but it was "unlocked" and released on April 22, 2011 by Island Records through a campaign on Jennifer's Facebook page.
Upon the song's promotional release, the song debuted at number 97 on the South Korea Gaon International Chart and at 33 on the Productores de Música de España.
Songwriting & Production[edit | edit source]
"(What Is) Love?" written by Diana "Wynter" Gordon and Emile "D'Mile" Dernst. The latter who also produced the song.
Jennifer's vocals for the song were recorded and produced by Kuk Harrell with recording assistance from Jim Annunziato & Josh Gudwin at Conway Studios in Hollywood, California.
Annunziato and Eric Eylands handled audio engineering of "(What Is) Love?" while the song was later mixed by Mike "Handz" Donaldson at Chalice Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California.
The song deals with the topic of "not knowing what love is."
The song's co-writer Wynter Gordon stated that:
"I felt like so many woman have that same story. No fathers, families, abusive boyfriends and husbands..no parental support, they feel alone .. I've had my few relationships and have yet to feel love [sic]."
Song Leak & Release[edit | edit source]
"What Is Love?" was leaked onto the internet in May of 2009.
Wynter Gordon (the co-writer of "What Is Love?") expressed her dismay at the "unfinished and unmastered" song's leak in a post on her official MySpace blog.
"I wrote this song from a deep place in my heart. If the world was gonna hear it, I wanted them to hear it right... It's as good as gone to me now... The story was given a Lifetime TV special instead of a movie... sad."
Wynter did note that she was dissatisfied with the circumstances, but was in "no way dissing Lopez."
A mastered version of "What Is Love?" was included on the soundtrack to "The Back-up Plan."
The song was re-titled as "(What Is) Love?" and appeared on "Love?"
"(What Is) Love?" was due to be released as a promotional single from Love? on April 26, 2011, but it was "unlocked" and released four days earlier on April 22, 2011 by through a campaign on Jennifer's Facebook page.
What is Love (Part II)[edit | edit source]
During the first album listening party for "Love?" in 2009, Rap-Up magazine revealed that Jean-Baptiste had produced a second version of the song called "What Is Love? (Part II)."
It was considered for included on the album, but it ultimately did not make the final tracklisting.
It samples the "club-friendly" riff of Edwin Starr's 1970 single "War."
On April 20, 2013, "What Is Love? Part II" was leaked onto the internet.
According to Jessica Sager of PopCrush, it picks up where the original song left off.
Sager wrote that the song "likely isn't about [Marc] Anthony — but for those new to the song, it's surely easy to interpret it as such. Lopez gets pretty revealing in the new song, addressing a divorce directly and explicitly."
Critical Response[edit | edit source]
"(What Is) Love?" received generally positive acclaim from music critics.
The song received a positive review from Digital Spy's Robert Copsey, who although stating that it isn't any "we haven't heard before," Lopez carries "it off with her unrivalled glamour and effortless sophistication."
He concluded by stating that the song was worthy of a standalone release.
Monica Herrera from Billboard commented that on the song, Jennifer channels "J.Lo circa 2003."
Herrera added the song would have been "slayed if the gender had been flipped" and it had been sung by Justin Bieber.
Joey Guerra from the Houston Chronicle said that Jennifer uses "(What Is) Love?" (and the album cut "Starting Over") to play the jilted lover.
US Weekly noted the song's lyrics to be pointing "a few fingers" at Lopez's previous relationships, seen in the line dissing "blind dates" and the declaration of: "Musicians are the worst."
Personnel[edit | edit source]
- Jim Annunziato: audio engineer & vocal recording engineer
- Anesha Birchett: background vocals
- Mike "Handz" Donaldson: mixing engineer
- Emile Dernst II (D'Mile): songwriter & producer
- Eric Eylands: assistant audio engineer
- Kuk Harrell: vocal producer & vocal recording engineer
- Shani Gonzales: additional A&R
- Dianna "Wynter" Gordon: songwriter & background vocals
- Josh Gudwin: vocal recording engineer
- John "J-Banga" Kercy: Pro Tools engineer
- Jennifer Lopez: lead vocals