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Track-By-Track Album Review: Alexandra Stan – Mami (International Version)

We’ve waited, and we’ve waited, and we’ve waited, and we’ve waited, and we’ve waited, for Alexandra Stan to drop her new album, Mami, internationally, and what a long wait it has been; just when we thought we would never get it, she drops it, making the tracks available worldwide… Only, there are just eight tracks, which is quite the difference in comparison to Japan’s standard version of 11.

This album was released in Japan on 25 April 2018, with 11 complete tracks. It was later released in Italy on 15 June 2018, with 10 tracks – which isn’t surprising since “Favorite Game” was a Japan-only single/track release. But now, the international version has been released this week and there are only eight tracks. We are officially missing the first single “Boy Oh Boy” and second single “Noi 2“. Eight tracks is disappointing, but since seven of them are unheard of globally – apart from in Japan and Italy – then we guess it isn’t so bad since we had already heard “Boy Oh Boy“, “Noi 2“, and “Favorite Game“.

Alexandra Stan hit it worldwide with her single “Mr Saxobeat”; since then, this Romanian superstar has been continuing her career by releasing awesome songs and collaborating with some big names including INNA, Daddy Yankee, Antonia, Mohombi, and Manuel Riva. She’s definitely someone to keep watching, especially since she’s already been a global success, and with her dedication and incredible vocals, she will surely do it again.

This album has been a long time coming and we’re finally glad to be able to listen to all the tracks fully, even if there are only eight of them. We’ve reviewed EPs with more tracks. Regardless, each of the songs deserve their time in the limelight, and so we decided to write up a track-by-track album review. We can’t wait to see what step Alexandra Stan takes next.

Rablaton

Intro song to the international version of the album, and Alexandra Stan jumps right in with breathy vocals “Here you go down low, here you go low…”; it’s certainly an interesting track to open this album with. The track sounds like a song that Rihanna or Iggy Azalea would’ve released, and this shows a catchy popular new direction for Alexandra Stan. When she starts singing in Spanish, she fully brings it, crossing right into Latin-pop, becoming a grower of a song – we just keep expecting J Balvin or Daddy Yankee to jump on to the track as a feature; maybe if it gets released as an official single? We can always hope.

Mami

This is the title track and was an official single in some countries, with quite the sexy music video. As for the song, it is a complete tune and it’s no surprise it was chosen as a single, let alone the title track. Alexandra Stan is passionate and hungry with her vocals and she will get you singing along by the end of the song. The cheeky lyrics work well with the rhythmic backing track.

You Used To Know

Now, this is typical Alexandra Stan, her sweet vocals hold so much emotion and they have an air of a ballad to the start making us remember the iconic treasure track “Thanks For Leaving”. She tells a story from start to finish and her voice and lyrics enter our hearts throughout. The song is one of our favourites on this international version of the album and we totally hope that it is chosen as the next single.

Ou La La

This has a “Mami” vibe and would’ve worked better if it followed that track, although it may have swallowed up “Mami” what with the gorgeous French vocals coming from Alexandra Stan. This is her only song that is sung completely in French, whilst “Rablaton” is in Spanglish – this is why we love Alexandra Stan because she can sing in a variety of languages and really proves that she’s a world-class artist. It’s got a catchy chorus that anyone can sing along to, whilst the talking-verses are full of questions asked tantalisingly. This is richly full of sex. A fun little song that certainly will remain in your head.

India (feat. Kent Archie)

Unlike her other tracks on the album, “India” switches it up with a progressive, adventure song. Alexandra Stan’s vocals are strong as she tells the story of this song with some held notes. The backing track completely stands out; it’s extremely intricate and gives us The Lion King vibes. Outshining her in this song is Kent Archie; his relax rap just dominates the song, taking centre stage. It’s experimental music and one that would’ve been forgotten on this album if it wasn’t for Kent Archie and the adventurous backing track. This song just feels unpolished.

Whine It Up (feat. Jenn Morel)

Tropical summer sound, “Whine It Up” is also missing that club sound it deserves to be. Alexandra Stan’s vocals start off strong, but she experiments in a high octave which doesn’t suit her or this track. The chorus is catchy but feels familiar and yet not quite perfect. Jenn Morel comes on giving afrobeat rap that brings the fire to the song, but the backing track is too Coca-Cola tropical. This just feels rushed, all over the place, and messy. However, it is a grower and once we’ve heard it a few times, we have to admit that we were singing along, but this has to be our least favourite on the album.

Thinking About You (feat. Suark)

This track opens with all the 90’s bubblegum pop/club/house beats that are certainly giving us nostagia. Alexandra Stan sounds like Kylie Minogue and the song really does sound like it is a hidden album track from one of the Aussie star’s old albums. Instead, it’s an original song that doesn’t quite belong in this decade, and yet it feels oh-so-right. It has Alexandra Stan’s typical emotional style and we believe every single word she is singing.

Round&Round

The final track on the album and Alexandra Stan has transported us into a musical theatre with the opening of the song, and the various instruments in the backing track. The lyrics are catchy and her vocals are completely on point. The ending of the chorus does extend a little bit too long, but everything else is more than perfect and if “You Used To Know” isn’t chosen as the next single, we hope this one is. This track is a repeat-all-day kind of track. It’s a killer ending to the album.

This eight-track album could do with the likes of “Boy Oh Boy“, “Noi 2“, and even “Favorite Game” because it feels like a lost album without them. Some tracks aren’t polished, and others don’t fully grab our attention; unlike the singles that were released but not included in the international release of Mami.

Having said that, there are some pure fire tracks, including “Rablaton”, “You Used To Know”, and “Round&Round” and we’d so like to see at least one of these get released as a single and get an accompanying music video.

Mami is available to download and stream right now. We know Alexandra Stan can do better, but it does open up new directions for her and we’re excited to see what new music she brings to the industry.

What do you make of Alexandra Stan’s international version of her album Mami? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix.

Written by Jonathan Currinn

25-year-old writer, blogger, author and journalist. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2015. I write under the name Critic Jonni, on my blog. I also write for Channillo, Outlet Magazine, SPECTRUMM, Fuzzable, Modern Magazine, and Electric Mode. Follow me on Twitter @CriticJonni