Cariño is a song by Jennifer Lopez from her second studio album J.Lo.

The song was released as a promotional single in Spain. It's unknown how it charted there.

The song was written by Jennifer, Cory Rooney, Manny Benito, Neal Creque, Jose Sanchez, Frank Rodriguez, Guillermo Edghill, Jr. and Mongo Santamaria

It was produced by Jose Sanchez, Frank Rodriguez, Guillermo Edghill, Jr. and Cory Rooney.

Songwriting & Production[edit | edit source]

Jennifer and her fellow writer Cory Rooney (who she works closely with) came up with the song during early studio recording sessions for J.Lo.

According to Jennifer, it took "forever" to develop and stated:

"I couldn't write it, Cory couldn't write it. We had other people try to write it. No one could write this damn song."

Eventually, multiple people were brought in to contribute to the song's lyrics, including Manny Benito, Neal Creque, Jose Sanchez, Frank Rodriguez and Guillermo Edghill, Jr.

While Jennifer was in Europe promoting :The Cell," Rooney called her and told her he had finished writing the song which he described as "sexy."

Jennifer "loved it," although she slightly changed the chorus.

Composition[edit | edit source]

"Cariño" is a heavily influenced bilingual Latin pop song which runs for a duration of four minutes and fifteen seconds.

Jennifer recorded her vocals for the track with Robert Williams at the Sony Music Studios in New York City.

The song was later mixed by Tony Maserati and mastered by Ted Jensen at the Sterling Sound Studios, New York City.

She stated that "Cariño" is a "cha-ca-inspired" "Latin-y pop track."

Jennifer explained the term "Cariño" to mean "love and affection." Speaking of the lyrics, she stated:

"It's when you touch and it's very affectionate. You can also call someone cariño. It's just a term of affection."

The song is built around an interpolation of Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaria's 1976 song "Sofrito."

In the chorus for "Cariño" (which includes several of Jennifer's sexual "emotive cries"), she tells her lover that she "gotta have" his love and needs to feel his touch, stating that she could "never get enough, cariño, cariño."

Furthermore, the song contains horn and Mambo horn sections. Additionally, "Cariño" features a heavily Latin-influenced live rhythm section.

Critical Response[edit | edit source]

Joan Anderman of The Boston Globe described the song as "scintillating," stating:

"Cariño, one of half a dozen tracks Lopez co-wrote, has real sex appeal – the pre-MTV variety that flows from a hot tangle of horns and a glistening mambo – and it infuses Lopez's singing with uncharacteristic passion."

Jim Derogatis of Chicago Sun-Times praised it for showcasing Jennifer's "Puerto Rican heritage" while a writer from the Contra Costa Times described the song as "Latin-flavored" and "effective."

Despite this, Craig D. Lindsey writing for Houston Press, felt that Jennifer "tries her best to be distinctive" when she "soothes her Latino listeners" with "Cariño."

In a review of its parent album J.Lo, a writer from the Daily Nebraskan stated that "Cariño" and "Si Ya Se Acabó" showcase Jennifer's "definite talent."

Live Performance[edit | edit source]

During Jennifer's Let's Get Loud concerts which took place in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum (which was also her first concert), she performed "Cariño."

The heavily salsa and Latin influenced performance began with Lopez's male dancers.

Then, Jennifer (clothed in a red dress) emerges and performs the song, which includes a dance-break.

Personnel[edit | edit source]

  • Cory Rooney: songwriter, producer and arrangement
  • Manny Benito: songwriter
  • Guillermo Edghill, Jr.: songwriter and producer
  • Frank Rodriguez: songwriter and producer
  • Neal Creque: songwriter
  • Jose Sanchez: songwriter and producer
  • Angel Fernandez: arrangement, trumpet and string guitar
  • Dave Burnett: bass guitar
  • Erben Perez: string bass
  • Mario Gonzalez: acoustic guitar
  • Dave Lavender: acoustic guitar
  • Bobby Allende: percussion
  • Ricky Gonzalez: piano
  • Shalene Thomas: piano
  • Robert Williams: vocal producer
  • David Swope: assistant recording engineer
  • Jim Jaisby: assistant recording engineer
  • Pete Wade Keusch: Pro Tools and assistant mixing engineer
  • Tony Maserati: mixing engineer
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