Well, INNA sure does like overloading her fans with content, that’s for sure, and this week has been a big one for her Club Rockers who can barely keep up. That’s because, on Friday 31 May 2019, she released her sixth studio album YO with two different track orders, seven new singles all with their own single artwork, and three brand new music videos – with four more on their way after she confirmed in our interview, last year, that the album is a visual album with every track getting its own music video.
INNA, real name Elena Apostoleanu, is one of the biggest Romanian female artists around at the moment, having gone on to have international success with her early singles such as “Hot”, “Amazing”, and “Sun Is Up”. She continued her success with a variety of singles that have hit over 100 million views on YouTube including “Ruleta“, “Gimme Gimme“, and “Heaven“. She has collaborated with some of the biggest artists and DJs including Flo Rida, Pitbull, J Balvin, Daddy Yankee, Martin Solveig, Sak Noel, and Dannic, to name a few. Now, she has been teasing her sixth studio album for months, revealing that she took creative control, unlocking her songwriting abilities and that it will be a full Spanish album. Prior to the album release, she dropped the singles “RA”, “Iguana”, “Sin Ti”, and “Tu Manera”. We also spoke to INNA in our exclusive interview, she used these five words to describe the album: “Sensitive, YO, artsy, real, love.”
So where on earth do we start? So much content that INNA has dropped, it’s impossible for us to keep up and so we’ve compiled it all into one article, first off is our track-by-track album review of YO, next will be our thoughts on her seven single releases – which are the remaining tracks on the album, and then we’ll type up about the three music videos. It’s clear that INNA believes each track deserves its own spotlight in more ways than one and that is exactly what we intend to do.
INNA – YO
There were two versions of the album that were initially released with different track orders, on Friday. One from Global Records themselves, and then one by Global Records under exclusive licence to Roc Nation. On the release date, both versions were available worldwide; this is no longer the case now, with the former only available in Romania, and the latter available internationally. We’ll be reviewing the album in the international version track order however here’s the tracklist order for the Romanian version released solely in Romania:
- Te Vas
- Tu Manera
- Sin Ti
- Si, Mamá
- La Vida
Track-By-Track Album Review: INNA – YO
This was the first single that INNA released from this new era, and it really showed a different direction, musically; and so, it comes as no surprise that it’s the first track on the album to fully introduce us to this new era. Sensual yet simple, it is one of those tracks that grows on you and after hearing it multiple times we’ve begun singing along to it. INNA’s voice sounds incredible reminding us of her Rock The Roof sessions. The song is about saying goodbye to your lover, for good.
Her official fifth single from the album, “Te Vas” got an exclusive premiere from Billboard, and what a premiere it was – but more on the music video later. The song itself leads well from “RA” with the repetition of the title, and her voice is strong in the verses reminding us of her early club tracks whilst the chorus is softer and more groovy. We understand why it is the first track on the Romanian version of the album. It connects well with “RA” as she sings about leaving this person who she’s in a relationship with, believing that this is the best thing, with “Te Vas” being translated to “You Go”.
Our favourite single that had been released prior to the album release, “Iguana” is one catchy track with an absolutely incredible music video – again it’s the best one out of her recent releases from this album, visually. This track is filled with INNA fire and she fully means every single word of this track. It’s a fighting song, one that is fuelled with so much emotion because she’s feeling so many different emotions, she’s missing the person who broke her heart – that’s what we get from the song and the translation of the lyrics, not that they make much sense. It’s a warped kind of track, one we fully love and certainly can listen to again and again.
Here’s a rhythmic track that could easily have been a slower track on one of her previous albums as it’s beaty and groovy. Her vocals are soft and it feels like a very sweet song but with a bit of an edge. The song’s title means “Life” in English with the repeated line in the chorus “La vida es como un echo” meaning “Life is like an echo”. Our loose translation of the song tells the story of what you give out to the world is what you get in return, such as karma, or feeding the good wolf. We’re not sure it quite works after “Iguana” and we much agree with the Romanian version of the tracklist as this would be a perfect track to end the album on subliminally suggesting us to press the replay button on the whole album – making it an echo over and over again – but it makes a bigger impact after “Iguana” because of how catchy but different both the songs are.
This is probably the most intricate track on the album, with whistles and heart-racing beats. This is one of those tracks that you expect to be part of an interval – hence why it’s track five – or one that is an interlude or prologue track to the album. It is completely different and feels like it doesn’t quite belong on the album but, to be fair, INNA was due a surprisingly different album track considering her past five albums have been high calibre and not one album track didn’t belong – don’t get us wrong, this whole album is a whole new direction for INNA and so some may say this whole album is left field and experimental, but this track is surely the most radical of them all. Her voice goes through a variety of styles and it’s difficult to understand where she’s coming from with the song, perhaps that is the intention, putting up a guard and closing oneself off from others so she’s difficult to read – we’ve all done that at times. The title of the song, “Locura”, translates to “Madness” in English and the lyrics paint a similar story, finding someone who makes her enjoy her night but she wants it on her terms not his, she doesn’t want to be controlled – if our rough translation of the lyrics are correct.
Back to a beat we can understand and enjoy, “Sí, Mamá” reminds us of the earlier track, “Te Vas”, only it packs a bit more of a punch vocally and rhythmically. It also has hints of other songs of the album throughout and that what definitely likens us to the song. INNA’s voice has some gusto and this track really showcases her voice and how beautiful it is to listen to especially when she’s singing in Spanish. The track itself feels like an ode to her mother, who we admire when we see her in INNA’s Instagram feed as their love for one another is undeniable and it’s clear that INNA adores her mom so much. The title translates to “Yes, Mom” and the choruses talk about INNA’s fame and how her mother told her that people will sell her fame, whilst the verses launch into the people who have used her fame for their own gain, especially false friends. We’ve been expecting an INNA track that lashes out – you don’t become internationally known without having a lot to say about people in your past – and it’s right here on this Spanish-language album, yet it’s wrapped up around advice her mother had given her. It’s clear that INNA is a force of positivity even at the worst of times.
A music video for this song has yet to be released, but we’re hoping for either a brilliant visual with a bit of a narrative – similar to “Iguana” – or a visual that includes INNA’s mother. We’re definitely keeping our eyes peeled for this music video.
Another grower of a track “Sin Ti” will have you, at least, tapping your foot because the backing track is rhythmically beautiful. So many amazing beats that are certainly something that will be appreciated in the Latin music world – in fact, INNA mentioned, in our exclusive interview, that she would love to collaborate with J Balvin again (they previously collaborated on “Cola Song”), preferably on this album and we could so imagine him adding a verse to this song. If you’re not so keen on it now, we suggest you give it a few more listens, it’s one addicting track. Lyrically the song is about meeting the one for the very first time, that instant connection, where you can’t stop thinking about them; with the title translating to “Without You”.
Now time for the track that has become her most-viewed YouTube music video from this album, “Tu Manera” – the video currently has over 25 million YouTube views. It is definitely reminiscent of her club tracks from the past decade that she’s been in the music industry, and it also has a couple of lyrics in English which could explain why it gained millions of YouTube views. It has a summery feel towards the song and it’s just full of positive energy and it’s impossible to keep still whilst listening to this song. The title, “Tu Manera”, translates to “Your Way”, and INNA sings about falling for someone. It has an undeniably catchy beat with simple lyrics that are easy to learn.
Would a Spanish-language track be complete without a flamenco track? This is certainly one you can imagine a couple dancing an uptempo flamenco dance to. It’s another grower of a track with the backing track taking most of the attention – just like “Tu Manera” hence why this follows that song brilliantly – and yet the INNA still manages to showcase her vocals and the lyrics of the song amazingly, it sure is one defining track that will later become a treasured song amongst her fans. “Gitana”, when translated from Spanish to English, means “Gypsy” – which explains the music video, but more on that later – whereas our rough translation of the lyrics suggests that INNA is singing about the day she met someone who she had an instant connection with and left her speechless – the subject of which is similar to “Sin Ti“.
Is this real? Has the hidden chorus in “Nirvana” really become its own song? Are we hearing this correctly? And is this the whole reason why “Nirvana” is unavailable on streaming services in the UK due to this song being published under Roc Nation – or are we grasping at straws here since “Nirvana” has been released in most countries? We couldn’t even get an answer from INNA herself in our exclusive interview. We really want “Nirvana” – the song – here in the UK. That aside – for now – this track, on its own, lifted from the “Nirvana” track is an undeniable force and certainly came as a shock when we first heard it – yet we instantly fell for it and we’re sure everyone else has especially since “Nirvana” has over 82 million YouTube views and millions of streams.
It feels a little quicker than “Nirvana” and it has this hint of magic. It’s clear that INNA loved this song from the outset and just had to make it its own song and we’re so glad that she did. It’s a little homage to her previous album and track whilst showing how she can take something and make it new and exciting. Her voice is pure perfection, quite sensual, and also mysterious. It sure is unforgettable, much like “Nirvana“. As for the lyrics, our rough translation suggests that she’s singing about falling for someone where her heart goes “boom boom” – we all know that feeling.
We have to admit, we were disappointed that this wasn’t a cover version of Eleni Foureira’s “Fuego“, which represented Cyprus at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 and which came second – maybe one day we’ll hear INNA sing that song, but she rarely records and releases cover songs, and to be fair she certainly doesn’t need to. This brand new song is more of a stripped back song that really shows off her incredible voice and her ability to flood the song with emotion whilst also showcasing her ability to dip into different musical styles that are found throughout this album. If any of these album tracks would get remixes, we imagine it would be this one as it allows for various experimental production techniques due to the different styles throughout. “Fuego” means “Fire” in English, and the song’s lyrics suggest she’s missing the person she fell in love with, who she said goodbye to in previous tracks, but also who burned her and hurt her. It seems a little weird that it was chosen as the last track on the international album.
Overall, as much as we love that INNA has signed under Roc Nation, giving her opportunities that she never previously had as well as more of an international reach, we feel that the Romanian track order manages to tell a complete story from start to finish with the songs, whereas the international album doesn’t quite have any logic to the order as far as we can tell. Putting tracklist order to the side, we have to admit that INNA’s sixth studio album is another brilliant collection of tracks and one we fully support. Her new direction, for this era, suits her well and adds to her international star quality, introducing Latin music fans into INNA’s substantial music collection. She may well return to her roots with her next album – and we can’t wait for that day – but she has just proven that experimenting and trying something new certainly pays off.
INNA Releases Seven New Singles Titled “Te Vas”, “Contigo”, “Fuego”, “Gitana”, “La Vida”, “Locura”, and “Si, Mamá”
Eagle-eyed Club Rockers would have noticed that INNA also released seven brand new singles for the remaining album tracks from YO, however, they were quickly removed internationally, apart from in Romania – could this be due to Roc Nation again? Much like why there were initially two albums with different tracklist orders? Whatever the reason was, each of the singles had its own single art released too.
The songs, themselves, were the exact same as the tracks on the album, and so they weren’t anything new and our reviews of the tracks above would still be the same, however, the single artwork could be suggestive of what music videos we could expect from INNA in the future, as we’re still waiting on four more music videos to complete her visual album.
INNA Drops Three New Music Videos For “Te Vas”, “Fuego”, and “Gitana”
On top of the album release and the seven single releases, INNA also dropped three brand new music videos. These new visuals were for the songs “Te Vas”, “Fuego”, and “Gitana”. We knew more were on their way as she revealed in our exclusive interview that every single song on the album will get a music video as YO is a visual concept album, however, we didn’t expect three music videos to drop at the same time. This also means that we’re waiting on four more music videos, these are for “Sí, Mama”, “Locura”, “La Vida”, and “Contigo” – let’s hope they aren’t all released on one day. All of the music videos released as part of the YO visual experience has been directed by Bogdan Paun of NGM Creative with production by Loops Production and with Alexandru Muresan acting as director of photography.
As previously mentioned, “Te Vas” was revealed a day earlier – on Thursday – in an exclusive premiere by Billboard. Talking to Billboard, INNA said: “I spent some days in a row in the dance studio with my choreographer and dancer Dragos Istvan and after that, with two days before shooting the video, we moved to the location of the video and practiced a lot with the acrobat. It was a really cool experience and I enjoyed it, even if it was tiring.”
Watch INNA’s Music Video To “Te Vas” Here:
INNA’s fans are sure to rejoice upon watching this music video as we finally get to see this incredible artist dance to set choreography. For years on end, INNA has been a force to be reckoned with in the dance music world and yet none of her music videos contain any structural dancing until this one came along. We always believed dancing and choreography wasn’t a strong suit of INNA, hence why she never really included it in her previous visuals, however, we were clearly wrong as she completely nails every single step with her male partner, showcasing a fully-fleshed-out storyline from start to finish.
According to INNA’s Instagram posts, the filming of this music video took place at the Stejarii Country Club, whilst her male partner in the visual is Dragos “Istvan” Rosu, who is a choreographer and videographer best known for choreographing dances on Uite cine danseaza (the Romanian version of Dancing With The Stars / Strictly Come Dancing – in English, the show’s title translates to “Look Who’s Dancing”). The choreography is somewhat reminiscent of Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” – which is a song INNA has covered in the past. The visual really paints a story of leaving someone you love; they both know that that is what’s best for them and yet they still have those feelings for one another. It’s great to see the lyrics being translated into a visual narrative through the concept of dance.
Watch INNA’s Music Video To “Fuego” Here:
Another square music video, which is the same as her previous videos for “RA” and “Sin Ti“, this one is a basic visual with INNA showcasing herself and the song. Dressed in a beautiful red paillette sequined dress which is tight-fitting with flared sleeves and tasselled sequined ends. Adorned on the dress are flowers and cherubs. The dress certainly suits INNA and she’s clearly relaxed in front of the camera, although we feel we’re missing the emotion of the song and it just feels like this was a rushed visual without a full concept.
In contrast to our thoughts, INNA said of this music video in an Instagram post, that her character is called Luz and that: “Luz is a dreamer … the most stylish, feminine and romantic. She’s constantly fighting for love and expresses her feelings ‘con fuego’ (with fire). She chooses carefully her daily outfits. Good tequila is her fav. – just in case you see her in your journey, ouhhh … I forgot … she looks younger than she is.” INNA also tagged Dolce & Gabbana, suggesting that the dress was made by that fashion brand.
Watch INNA’s Music Video For “Gitana” Here:
This visual certainly reminds us of the visual to “Tu Manera” as INNA is acting carefree and just having a good time. She’s wearing a pink t-shirt with an image of two women and a dog, on the front, paired with a flowered grey-white skirt. It’s certainly an interesting style choice and the dark-lit room doesn’t do her any justice. Having said that, it’s great to see INNA enjoying life and doing her own thing and loving every minute of it.
In a comment on YouTube, INNA said of this song and video: “May I introduce you to Zoe – la gitana :) She’s the youngest and craziest character in my stories. She loves Gucci and she enjoys dancing like a lunatic … I’m in love with her ability to live her life with no rules. I love you, Zoe!”
That’s all the content that INNA released on Friday in regards to her sixth studio album, YO, which is her first ever Spanish-language album. We’re still awaiting four more music videos and various other surprises.
YO, INNA’s sixth studio album is now available to download and stream worldwide via Global Records or Roc Nation.