These posts are about the songs that fell just short of crossing the key line of chart success, entering the Billboard Top 40. Every song featured in this series peaked at number 41.
The comeback wasn’t going well. Jennifer Lopez has a slew of pop hits to her name, but it had been a minute since she’d made it into the Top 10 as the lead artist on a single when she started dropping tracks from her 2011 album, Love? Although she was a featured performer on LL Cool J’s “Control Myself,” Lopez’s last prior venture into the upper reaches of the Billboard‘s Hot 100 as a lead performer came when her single “All I Have” (featuring, as it happens, LL Cool J) topped the chart for four weeks in early 2003. Lopez was also coming off an album, 2007’s Brave, that was the first in her career that failed to achieve platinum sales status in the U.S.
She was determined to reestablish her credentials as a recording artist, though. To that the end, she threw herself into recording with a small army of collaborators and strove to make the material she worked on more personally relevant to her than on previous records. After the single “Louboutins” missed the Hot 100 altogether, the shared frustration between Lopez and her longtime label Epic Records reached a breaking point. She signed with Island instead. “Louboutins” was dropped from the album, and “On the Floor,” a cut featuring Pitbull, become that official first single from Love? It went to the top of the charts of multiple countries, and peaked at #3. Jenny from the block was back.
Or so it seemed. If the next single was the real test of the revival of her pop chart prospects, Lopez might not have stormed all the way back after all. “I’m Into You” is a midtempo number that borrows some island dancehall tones and lays out lyrics about falling in love: “When I look into your eyes, it’s over/ You got me hooked with your love controller.” At the time, Lopez named Lil Wayne as her favorite rapper, and he was recruited to deliver a few guest verses. The single couldn’t live up to the commercial standard set by its immediate predecessor. It peaked at #41.
Other entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Top 40 Smash Near Misses” tag.