Monday, March 15, 2004

The Pablo Flores Extended Club Mix of J-Lo's "If You Had My Love" never fails to bring sunshine into my world.

First of all, it brings back a gorgeous memory: It was August, 1999, and I was in St. Joseph, Michigan for a week's vacation - and to meet a potential love interest, a woofy faux-cowboy (his nick on whatever chat site I'd met him on was something like "StetsonCub") whose name, sadly, I can't even remember. Within 6 hours of arriving, he burst my balloon (that is not a metaphor, people), telling me that he was getting back together with his ex. What great timing... Anyway, that first night, a Saturday, we drove up to Saugatuck - which, even though their "official" website doesn't seem to make mention of it, is essentially the Provincetown of the midwest: a big, gay, artsy, waterfront town. So we went up there, about an hour's drive, to hit the big gay dance palace. [Don't remember its name, either.] It was gorgeous, half of it open to the stars (including one dancefloor), lots of wood, huge, a piano/drag bar part of what was really a complex, too. But most important to me were the two dancefloors, the superb DJs, and all of the sexy men present. My host ran into his ex, or someone he knew - I can't rightly recall - and I was left to fend for myself, which at the time was a bit harder than it would be these days. [I didn't have the self-confidence I do now, simply put.] So I meandered around, had a couple of drinks, scoped some hot guys but was too shy to talk with them... and then I was lurking on the edges of the club's big, indoor dancefloor. And the DJ started spinning a song with so much energy, so much sexiness and sensuality, so much sheer joy, that I nearly found myself overwhelmed right there. I had to hit the dancefloor, my hips and feet were telling me that much. I did so. And the song was, of course, Flores's remix of "If You Had My Love." And everything was right in my world.

Which brings me to the second reason this song is so stupendous: this is why dancefloors exist. This remix is sexy beyond belief without being or feeling dirty (or stupid - cf. any big gay club hit with "fuck" repeated ad nauseum in its lyrics). It requires you to move your hips (Flores, in his best work, has got the Latin house thing down). And it works entirely too well with Lopez's vocals, and the song's lyrics; in its original form, "Love" is a pretty limp slab of hiphop-pop. But here, Jennifer sounds free, soaring (as much as her admittedly fair-to-middling pipes will let her), taking flight wherever Flores takes her. And us. Commercial vocal house needn't be an oxymoron, nor a defunct concept. This is all the proof anyone should need. Glorious. A

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