Jennifer Lopez’s “Saturday Night Live” appearance wasn’t bad exactly. It was just, well, messy.
    Her monologue was just OK. Her musical performances were iffy. This is not the Jenny from the Block we’ve come to know.
    Even more unusual, none of it served a point. The “SNL” gig was supposed to drum up support for her singles “Louboutins” and “Fresh Out the Oven” from her upcoming album “Love,” which was scheduled for an April release on Epic, in conjunction with her new movie “The Back Up Plan.” It’s a combo that she has used before to much success, when “J.Lo” and “The Wedding Planner” in 2001 made her the first to have an album and a movie debut at No. 1 in the same week.

PHOTOS: Jennifer Lopez

VIDEO: Jennifer Lopez in "The Back-Up Plan"


    It’s not working out that way this time. Instead, Lopez, who is on the comeback trail after taking time off to raise her twins in Old Brookville with husband Marc Anthony, performed two new songs, a midtempo ballad “Pieces,” that seems built for Celine Dion, and an acoustic ballad “Starting Over” that doesn’t play to any of Lopez’s strengths. So what’s going on?
    Well, in the warm-up to her appearance, it came out that Lopez and Epic had split and that her album “Love” was going to come out on another label this summer – perhaps Island Def Jam, according to Deadline.com.
    “I have belonged to the Sony family since the beginning of my career as a singer and together we've had great success,” Lopez said in a statement. “I have fulfilled my contractual responsibilities with Sony/Epic up to this point, and we have both reached friendly terms about my departure from the label. I'm also happy to say that we've found a new home for my album, 'Love,' and that it is slated for release in the summer of 2010.”
    So instead of promoting “Fresh Out the Oven,” which hit No. 1 on the dance charts in January, or “Louboutins,” which is currently climbing the dance chart, Lopez did the new songs. And it seems she could have used some extra rehearsal time. (Check out the struggle to hit notes at 2:10 and 2:50 below in case there’s a doubt.)
    In other words, an uncharacteristic mess.

PHOTOS: Jennifer Lopez

VIDEO: Jennifer Lopez in "The Back-Up Plan"

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PHOTO: Jennifer Lopez by Getty Images.