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Aitana "11 Reasons"
Aitana Ocaña sings of irrational love, breakups and moving on: this is the story of '11 Reasons', an ode to freedom and loving oneself.
Singles and EPs
The runner-up of Operación Triunfo 2017 surprises us with collaborations with Beret, Natalia Lacunza, Álvaro Díaz, Pole, Cali y El Dandee, and Sebastián Yatra. The process of falling out of love is the key to this new album.
Aitana is 20 years old, but in mid-2020 she decided to take a risk and release an album that she'd been composing for months. 11 Reasons is the title that sums up a story that could well have been called "falling out of love". She begins by relating the irrational feeling that intoxicates us a the start, then tells us of the suffering caused when it's not working and you're trying to avoid a breakup. Finally, she affirms powerfully and full of energy that one can move on, with the love we should profess for ourselves.
She confessed during the quarantine that her new record would be "very 2000s": "It's going to be very much the era of Avril Lavigne, in the style you've already heard from me on "+" with Cali y el Dandee". So, one by one, let's analyze the songs that make up the new sound of Aitana.
"No te has ido y ya te extraño"
"Si no vas a volver"
"Corazón sin vida"
"Cuando te fuiste"
("You haven't left and I miss you already")
The song that kicks off the album is a statement of intentions. "I confess that you hurt me. You haven't left and I miss you already" begins Aitana, convinced that the pain caused by bearing the unbearable is worth it. Because there's no one else like him. Or at least that's what she thinks at first, until she admits "I kept the pain and dressed it up as love". And so we have the first stage: denial.
This is the first of five titles that reference mathematical signs. On this song she is joined by Álvaro Díaz and Pole, for the first of several collaborations of the album. The old refrain "neither with you nor without you" returns, during a conversation between the three. Aitana misses her ex, but seems to realize that one cannot fight for something that doesn't work. "I will love you, but less. Why can't I sleep? Why can't I think? Why can't I even say your name?" Here we begin the journey to the second stage: anger. Welcome to the first few days after a breakup.
Here she emphasizes once more the amount of crazy things we do when we're in love. Because that's what the love hormone, oxytocin, does to us, right? Affects our good judgment and gives priority to feelings that may not yet be properly settled. Beret provides the other voice in this duet, with phrases such as "To live your life without owning you. To love one another as if we were kids. That's what love is". And of course Aitana can't help but give in, saying "I want to see you again. To love each other backwards and forwards". Who here isn't guilty of giving second chances? Now we're on to the third element: negotiation.
The next phase of the story. With Junto and El Dandee, Aitana reflects on how easy it is to relapse when emotions cloud your judgment. She knows she did the right thing by leaving a relationship that was more negative than positive, but even so, she can't help but dwell on the past. Sound familiar? "A love that's irreversible can't be erased by months or years", according to the Colombian group. We all know someone that has given in to temptation and undone what little they had built for themselves. And as they say, if you don't, then it's you.
("If you're not coming back")
This song reflects accurately on how we can delude ourselves into believing that the person in front of us is capable of change. These mirages form part of our lives and quite often we find ourselves believing our own lies in order not to have to face the crucial moment: the breakup. Wanting to but not being able is the main theme of a song in which she confesses that they "sowed a garden of jealousy". "I don't want to cry anymore, I don't want this love anymore." You go, Aitana. For realizing that not all is fair when it comes to love.
The last of the mathematical signs that shape 11 Reasons. At this point, Aitana sings of freedom, confirming her progress; she's carefree and starting to forget for real. "You were the one who went away, you were the one who left us suddenly. That's you, from bad to worse. You didn't know how to value me." She makes it clear who's to blame.
The second title which references mathematical signs. On this occasion, Aitana realizes that she was the one bending over backwards and fighting for a relationship destined to fail. We've all been there. Feeling lonely within a relationship is hard to deal with, but the singer manages to realize that sometimes love just isn't enough. Sometimes there are many factors necessary for a relationship to succeed, no matter how idyllic it may appear. "I was a fool for broken promises and I begged you. And though you didn't leave, stop messing me around like this", she begins, only to end with "I could die for you".
We see just how much love asks of us in "Corazón sin vida" ("Lifeless heart"), the duet with Sebastián Yatra that topped the charts around the world. Here we see things again from both sides. "Why did you heal me when I was hurt when today you leave me again with a lifeless heart?" A familiar story for many; sometimes you have to raise your voice and say "enough".
Aitana returns aware of the pain that is caused by staying with someone who isn't good for you. The toxicity of relationships comes to light with phrases like "A life with you hurts, but leaving you behind hurts more". Again, neither with you nor without you. That moment after a breakup when you don't know if you've done the right thing, and when guilt can easily creep in. Is it wrong to make yourself a priority? Of course not. And even more so if it is in order to protect your mental health. We've reached the fourth element: depression.
("When you left")
This is the cornerstone of 11 Reasons. Not only because she is joined by Natalia Lacunza, but because it is the moment when Aitana confesses that she is better off without him. She rises from the ashes, reborn. She doesn't miss him anymore. She has started to love herself. "I understood that our love wasn't bad, it was worse. I learned to see what you didn't see when you looked at me. I began to love myself again when you left."
The song that gives the album its name and the point at which we finally see a person who understands that in order to move forward, she needs more than what she's been receiving. A clear affirmation for loving oneself and not settling for something that doesn't fulfill us.