Thalía

En Extasis

  • AllMusic Rating
    6
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

En Extasis is Thalía's debut album for EMI as well as a huge stride forward for her career. Her preceding series of albums for Fonovisa were fairly successful in Mexico, but more so because of her celebrity than because they were especially good albums. In particular, they were weighed down by assembly-line pop schmaltz -- poorly written and even more poorly produced. So En Extasis is the first album where Thalía gets to sing well-written songs over lively productions. On a pair of songs, "Piel Morena" and "Me Faltas Tu," she even gets to work with two of Latin music's premier hitmakers: producer Emilio Estefan, Jr. and songwriter Kike Santander. And too, there's a song written by future Kumba King A.B. Quintanilla III, "Amandote," as well as a cover of Latin legend Juan Gabriel, "Gracias a Dios." Sure, there's some passable material interspersing these standout songs, but for the most part, Thalía gets first-rate songs to sing here and consequently she'd never sounded as good as she does here. All of the aforementioned songs are highlights, as is "Maria la del Barrio," the catchy theme song from her popular telenovela of the time. "Piel Morena" is probably the most notable song, not only because it's a dynamite album-opener but also because it was her first international hit, putting her on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart for the first time (a chart she would come to dominate by the end of the decade). The key appeal of "Piel Morena," along with most of the other highlights here, is that its rhythm is anything but generic. No, the music of En Extasis doesn't neatly fit into any one category such as banda or Latin pop. It's dynamic music propelled with bits of cumbia, bits of pop, bits of salsa, bits of banda -- a bit of most everything great about Latin music, in fact. She would further develop this approach on her subsequent, more fully fledged album, Amor a la Mexicana, but it's certainly on display here and makes En Extasis her first of several noteworthy albums.

blue highlight denotes track pick