The Song:
"I'm Glad" is the third track and third single from Jennifer Lopez' 2003 album "This Is Me... Then". It is a mid-tempo pop/dance song with oodles of electric piano, Brazilian guitar and harpsichord flourishes. Lopez doesn't strain herself too much with the singing, keeping it subdued (lazy?) and well within her established vocal range.

Unless you're pulling the whole "coming out of the bomb shelter" bit, you know about Lopez' relationship with Ben Affleck. This is one of the many love songs on the album written for and/or dedicated to Affleck. While not as blatantly saccharine as other tracks like "Dear Ben," this tune comes close.

Unlike the album's previous two singles -- "Jenny From The Block" and "All I Have" -- "I'm Glad" did not do well on many of the singles charts. It stalled at #32 on Billboard's Hot 100 and will be hard-pressed to hit #1 on their dance charts (It stalled at #4 -- 7/15/02). Nonetheless, the song remains in high rotation on many Top 40 radio stations, and the video is still receiving heavy airplay on MTV's various incarnations.

Although the video was released in late May 2003, the single wasn't be released until mid-July. It includes a Paul Oakenfold "Perfecto Remix."

The Video:
Now we're talking! MTV isn't exactly wearing out the Super 8 players with "I'm Glad" because it's the next "Stairway to Heaven". No, the network execs know what people want, and they want to watch J-Lo shake her fabulous ass.

Legendary photographer cum music video director David LaChapelle picked a remake of several scenes from the 1983 movie Flashdance for the video, with Lopez reprising the role of the comely welder/stripper originally played by Jennifer Beals. Several of the movie's dance scenes (including the now-famous "dumping the bucket of water on the cleavage" scene and the ballet school audition scene) were recreated shot-for-shot and step-for-step by LaChapelle and Lopez. Another scene from the video had Lopez singing seductively to the camera while striking a pose identical to Flashdance's movie poster. Lopez' costumes were recreated from the film to the most minute detail, including near approximations of the bracelets and ballet shoes worn by Beals in several of the movie's scenes.

This piqued the curiousity of Paramount, the studio that released Flashdance twenty years ago. Citing copyright infringement, the studio sent a nastygram to Sony (the company that owns Epic, Lopez' label), resulting in an unreleased licencing agreement. The video also sparked an unfounded rumor -- one I first saw on Celebrity Justice -- that Sony would remake Flashdance with Lopez completing her Beals-esque transformation by recreating the role in its entirety. (I may pay to see this, as opposed to a Lopez/Affleck remake of Casablanca, which would be absolutely abhorrent.)

(For all the hoopla surrounding the video for "I'm Glad", I should note that I don't think that this is the best movie-remake music video of the last couple of years. That honor, I think, belongs to Ashanti's "Foolish," which reprised scenes from Goodfellas. But I digress... )

The Lyrics:
Verse 1
Baby when I think about
The day that we first met (the day that we first met)
Wasn't lookin for what I found
But I found you
And I'm bound to find happiness in being around you

I'm glad when I'm makin love to you
I'm glad for the way you make me feel
I love it cause you seem to blow my mind every time
I'm glad when you walk you hold my hand
I'm happy that you know how to be a man
I'm glad that you came into my life
I'm so glad
Verse 2
I dig the way that you get down
(you get down for 'bout)
And you still know how to hold me
(and you still know how to hold me)
Perfect blend, masculine (can't get enough now)
I think I'm in love, damn finally
I'm glad that you turned out to be
That certain someone special
who makes this life worth living
I'm glad you're here just loving
So say that you won't leave
Cause since the day you came
I've been glad
Instrumental break

Chorus X2

J to Tha L-O-down!:
This song irritates me. "Jen and Ben" irritate me. The fact that I have to listen to this song at least three times during my working day irritates me. (It's featured on the "background music" videotape at my store.) Don't get me wrong, this isn't a vendetta against Lopez; I genuinely detest the song. I think I have a few valid reasons, and I'm going to share a few of them with you.

First of all, I could fart out better lyrics to a Ben Who-fleck love song. Perhaps Ben doesn't play the part of The Muse well (really, that'd be Salma Hayek's job, right?), but the words seem forced. Forced into the music, as in the square-peg-in-the-triangular-hole sense as well as forced in the announcing-your-engagement-to-your-families-when-you-know-it's-a-sham-wedding-to-conceal-your-homosexuality sense.

In the first verse...

Wasn't lookin for what I found
But I found you
And I'm bound to find happiness in being around you

I'm well aware of the "you'll find love when you least expect it" school of thought. Upon close examination, however, Jen seems to be unsure whether or not she'll actually track down the happiness in question. It's like she knows it's there, lurking somewhere in Ben's vicinity, but keeping to the shadows. Wait... we haven't seem much of that Damon boy in the last few months.

I dig the way that you get down
(you get down for 'bout)

I'll admit it, my street cred is minimal. I had to have some of the terms in My Love Don't Cost A Thing explained to me ("Roley Bling", etc). This could be a repeat of my previous experience, so if anyone can explain the meaning of "get down for 'bout" to me, I'd be very appreciative. Does this mean that Ben can dance? Does he like to dance while watching boxing? Is this a euphemism for cunnilingus? The Free World needs to know these things!

I'm glad when I'm makin love to you
I'm glad for the way you make me feel
I love it cause you seem to blow my mind every time

"Glad?" Just glad, Jen? Stevie Wonder was "Overjoyed" and Lonestar gets "Amazed" and all you can muster is glad? Puppies make me glad. Watching Tom Green reruns makes me glad. You might as well have said "Ben, you're decent-looking, unarmed and sufficiently whipped enough to buy me jewel-encrusted shitters. You'll do." Perhaps the lustre of being engaged diminishes the third time around. And what's with the rhyme scheme? If you're going to fill up a love song with wishy-washy, monosyllabic lyrics, at least make it pleasing to listen to. Take the time to match "when I'm makin love to you" with something like "that you feel this way too" or "'cause you take me to the zoo" or something! Those two lines are the pop music equivalent to a Todd MacCulloch fast break.

On a different note, does Ben "blow your mind" on a seemingly consistent basis, or are you just unsure whether or not your mind is being blown, Jen? I hate to play semantics, but I think that Who-fleck deserves an explanation here. Let's skip a bit, and hit the second verse:

I think I'm in love, damn finally

Let's see, you've been married twice, and have had a very public relationship with a successful hip-hop mogul. And you're almost 33 years old (at the time of writing). And you're just finding love now? If I was Cris Judd or P. Diddy, I'd be feeling pretty dissed right about now. (On a side note, how did Lopez turn Puff Daddy into the good guy here? Two years ago, we were demonizing him as a felon, and now he's the one with the broken heart and my sympathy. Imagine that... )

So say that you won't leave

Well Jen, historically speaking that hasn't been the problem with your relationships...

On January 22, 2004 Lopez' representatives announced that Bennifer was no longer a single entity -- the couple has broken off their engagement (again). This announcement came on the heels of reports that Lopez was caught canoodling with former beau P. Diddy in a Miami nightclub.

I'm Glad... it's over.

CST Approved

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