I love you, you’re perfect, a manifestation of my dreams, sang Jennifer Lopez on the track “Dear Ben,” off her third album, This is Me…Then, in 2002. Revisiting the sultry ballad dedicated to her then-fiancé Ben Affleck, Lopez has written and produced a “to be continued” song dedicated to her now-husband Affleck, “Dear Ben pt. II,” on her forthcoming ninth album, This is Me…Now, which is set for release in 2023.
“This is me then, this is me now,” wrote Lopez, on social media, revealing news of the new album in a short clip. The video shows the 2002 album cover transforming into a 2022 version of J.Lo, along with the full track list.
The album “chronicles the emotional, spiritual and psychological journey that she has taken over the past two decades,” with tracks that are “plaintive, confessional songs, reflections on the trials of her past, upbeat jams celebrating love and sex,” according to an official descriptor of the This is Me…Now.
Calling it “a culmination of who I am as a person and an artist,” Lopez said the collection of songs on This is Me…Now are the most honest she has ever written.
“People think they know things about what happened to me along the way, the men I was with, but they really have no idea, and a lot of times they get it so wrong,” said Lopez in a recent interview. “There’s a part of me that was hiding a side of myself from everyone. And I feel like I’m at a place in my life, finally, where I have something to say about it.”
Lopez’s first release since A.K.A. in 2014, This is Me… Now is also a return to writing and producing for Lopez with two tracks on the 13-track album dedicated to Affleck.
The two originally started dating in 2002 and were engaged before breaking up in 2004. Both reunited in 2021 and were married in 2022. A continuation to “Dear Ben” Lopez penned “Dear Ben pt. II,” along with “Midnight Trip to Vegas,” the latter song referencing the couple’s Las Vegas marriage in July 2022.
“I never shied away from the fact that for me, I always felt like there was a real love there, a true love there,” said Lopez of her long-standing love for Affleck. “People in my life know thought he was a very, very special person in my life. When we reconnected, those feelings for me were still very real.”
This is Me…Now Track List
1. This Is Me … Now
2. To Be Yours
3. Mad in Love
4. Can’t Get Enough
6. not. going. anywhere.
7. Dear Ben pt. ll
9. Hearts and Flowers
10. Broken Like Me
11. This Time Around
12. Midnight Trip to Vegas
13. Greatest Love Story Never Told
Photo: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images for Luisaviaroma