"This Is Me... Then" is Jennifer's 3rd album released on November 19, 2002 on Epic Records. The album is R&B and hip-hop oriented than her previous album, "J.Lo."
The album was recorded from March to October 2002 at The Hit Factory and Sony Music Studios in New York, The Hit Factory Criteria in Miami, Florida, The Record Plant in Hollywood, California, and The Studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
"This is Me... Then" was produced by Cory Rooney (who is also the executive producer), Troy Oliver, Dan Shea, Poke & Tone, Davy Deluge, Ron G, Dave McPherson, Rich Shelton, Kevin Veney, Loren Hill, Reggie Hamlet, and Focus.
In June of 2002, Jennifer divorced her former back-up dancer Cris Jude to pursue a relationship with actor/director Ben Affleck. In November of that same year, they became engaged which received a lot of media attention from the public & media who began to refer to the couple as "Bennifer."
Jennifer dedicated the album to Ben on the disc jacket that wrote:
"You are my life ... my sole inspiration for every lyric, every emotion, every bit of feeling on this record."
Jennifer wrote various lyrics for the album which she kept in a little red leather book that she calls her "magic book" where she scribbled down her thoughts & ideas. The album's artwork & liner notes were modeled after Jennifer's book which would "further the feel of an intimate portrait of Lopez's soul."
According to Jennifer, she stated that:
"I wanted the pictures to look kind of aged, like it was a scrapbook. ... All the writing [in it] is all kinds of crazy and upside down and sideways just as it is in my book."
The majority of "This Is Me... Then" was recorded over the course of two weeks and while recording the album, Jennifer listened to blues & soul music (which was one of her favorite musical genres growing up). Artists such as Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson had deeply influenced Jennifer and inspired the sound of the album.
Jennifer attempted to "elicit a similar feeling" in her own songwriting from these artists' songs on the album because they "made her heart sing." According to Jennifer, Luther Vandross & Michael Jackson's records "just stay with you" and she wanted to make something that was true to her upbringing as well as her current love life.
According to the primary producer on "This Is Me... Then," Cory Rooney:
"This is by far the best record that I've ever worked on or done [...] In the beginning of the recording [process] she said it's important that she makes a record that is a few notches above everything else she did. She wanted to show growth musically and vocally."
Jennifer was "enamoured" by the "contagious" melodies of Michael Jackson's 1979 album "Off the Wall" which led her to summon the mixer & engineer of the album, Bruce Swedien to work on the album.
The album's short recording span had Jennifer busy because she was also juggling her film career as well. She relied on Rooney to assist her with songwriting & production. Other producers that Jennifer worked with on the album were Troy Oliver, Loren Hill and Dan Shea.
"This is Me...Then" peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 314,000 copies in its first week and remained in the Top 20 for 12 weeks and on the chart for 37 weeks. In the United States, the album has sold 2.5 million copies and over 6 million copies worldwide.
Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine positively reviewed the album, stating: "The feel is sexy, stylish, and fun, and there are numerous highlights, all feeling effortless." Billboard Magazine gave a positive review stating: "Even naysayers will have to serve props to Lopez for the considerable growth she reveals as both a performer and tunesmith."
Rolling Stone gave a mixed review about the album stating: "Most of the songs are pitched too high for her register, the production sounds cheap, and love has dulled whatever street edge she might have had." The Village Voice gave the album a negative review, stating: "Jennifer Lopez makes albums for the same reasons you and I give holiday gifts to people we don't exactly like: vanity and obligation."
- Still-(written by Jennifer Lopez, Rich Shelton, Kevin Veney, Loren Hill, Leonard Huggins, LeRoy Bell, Casey James; produced by Rich Shelton, Kevin Veney, Loren Hill, and Cory Rooney)-[3:41]
- Loving You-(written by Troy Oliver, Cory Rooney, James Mtume, Michael Garvin, Tom Shapiro; produced by Troy Oliver, Cory Rooney)-[3:45]
- I'm Glad-(written by Jennifer Lopez, Troy Oliver, Cory Rooney, Andre Deyo, and Jesse Weaver, Jr; produced by Troy Oliver, Cory Rooney)-[3:42]
- The One-(written by Jennifer Lopez, Cory Rooney, Linda Creed, Davy Deluge, and Thom Bell; produced by Cory Rooney, Davy Deluge, and Dan Shea)-[3:36]
- Dear Ben-(written by Jennifer Lopez, Cory Rooney, and Bernard Edwards Jr; produced by Focus...and Cory Rooney)-[4:14]
- All I Have-(featuring LL Cool J)-(written by Jennifer Lopez, Makeba Riddick, Curtis Richardson, Ron G, Lisa Peters, and William Jeffrey; produced by Cory Rooney, Ron G, and Dave McPherson)-[4:14]
- Jenny From the Block-(featuring Styles and Jadakiss)-(written by Jennifer Lopez, Troy Oliver, Deyo, Samuel Barnes, Jean-Claude Olivier, José Fernando Arbex Miró, Lawrence Parker, Scott Sterling, Michael Oliver, David Styles, and Jason Phillips; produced by Troy Oliver, Cory, Rooney, Poke and Tone)-[3:08]
- Again-(written by Jennifer Lopez, Cory Rooney, Troy Oliver, and Reggie Hamlet; produced by Cory Rooney, Troy Oliver, and Reggie Hamlet)-[5:47]
- You Belong To Me-(written by Carly Simon and Michael McDonald; produced by Cory Rooney and Dan Shea)-[3:30]
- I've Been Thinkin'-(written by Jennifer Lopez, Cory Rooney, and Dan Shea; produced by Cory Rooney and Dan Shea)-[4:42]
- Baby I Love U!-(written by Jennifer Lopez, Cory Rooney, Dan Shea, and John Barry; produced by Cory Rooney and Dan Shea)-[4:29]
- The One (Version 2)-(written by Jennifer Lopez, Cory Rooney, Linda Creed, Davy Deluge, and Thom Bell; produced by Cory Rooney, Davy Deluge, and Dan Shea)-[3:32]
- Song Samples
- "Still" — Contains elements of Teddy Pendergrass' "Set Me Free" (LeRoy Bell, Casey James)
- "Loving You" — Contains a sample of Mtume's "Juicy Fruit" (James Mtume) and George Benson's "Never Give Up on a Good Thing" (Michael Garvin, Tom C. Shapiro)
- "I'm Glad" — Contains a sample of Schoolly D's "P.S.K. What Does It Mean?" (J.B. Weaver, Jr.)
- "The One" — Contains an interpolation of The Stylistics' "You Are Everything" (Thom Bell, Linda Creed)
- "All I Have" — Contains a sample of Debra Laws' "Very Special" (Lisa Peters, William Jeffrey)
- "Jenny from the Block" — Contains an interpolation of Enoch Light and the Light Brigade's "Hi-Jack" (Fernando Arbex), a portion of Boogie Down Productions' "South *Bronx" (Lawrence Parker, Scott Sterling), and a portion of 20th Century Steel Band's "Heaven and Hell Is on Earth" (Michael Oliver)
- "Baby I Love U!"— Contains an interpolation of John Barry's "Midnight Cowboy" (John Barry)
|United States||RIAA||2× platinum||2,500,000|