By: Robyn Barnette


Place her among virtually every form of Latin music that exists and the answer is obvious: Thalia is the woman of the 90s. And why not? Her brains, beauty, talent, and enormous sex appeal has Hispanic brothas everywhere drooling and feeling as though they're going to go down for the count, 'cause to them Thalia's a knockout. If her feminine assets can score a victory on men, then her latest album "En Extasis" is the bread and buttuh she needs to score the same kind of victory on the Latin Billboards.

There are two ingredients Thalia preserves throughout the album--Latin flava and pop international flow. With the help of Emilio Estefan and several other producers, she combines these two ingredients perfectly. She also polishes this combination with chunks of hip-hoppin', salsa droppin', smooth-jazz groovin' rhythms that drench her Latin sound with sexy, soulful harmonies. The sista has an intense vocal passion with the music that brings out the sex kitten in her and adds a zesty spice to give the flavor on this album a kick. What results from all this is music that's classic copacabana Latin with a phat, phresh, phinger-lickin' tropical sound and a cumbia melody that's appetizing enough to make one's mouth water. Thalia's attitude in her voice, and music, proves she's no fake.

Thalia's mix of infectious ballads; Cuban-style tunes; and tight, funky dance grooves on "En Extasis" show that she can make the crossover to American music, though overshadowed by some other Spanish performer who was about to make that crossover. In the end, she's proof in the pudding she's all that and a bowl of hot picante salsa at Chi-Chi's. Whereas the other Spanish performer was called "The Mexican Madonna," Thalia could be called "The Mexican Mariah." If Mariah ever hears of Thalia, she'd better be looking over her shoulder.