Ilse – “Africa” (1992)

Some people can get away with just using one name and everyone will know who you are talking about. No matter the name of the group, Ilse, Ivonne, and Mimi will always be Flans. So when the group disbanded in the 90’s, Ilse knew that she only had to have that one name in order for people to know who she was.

Under the label, Wea Latina, Ilse released “Africa” as her debut solo album and I have to say that the release was anything but normal for Mexican audiences. Influenced by African rhythms and drums, the music was completely original but wasn’t so far out there that she did not attract a pop music fan base. Even her image at the time was influenced by the culture. Success-wise, the album didn’t do very well. I think the biggest hits were the slower ballads for Ilse.

Musically, it is ahead of its time. Lots of the songs have held up over time and don’t sound like crappy 90’s music, especially early 90’s music that was just coming off the 80’s vibe. Maybe that was why it wasn’t a big hit overall. When you compare solo Ilse to Flans’s Ilse, I don’t see a lot of difference. I could easily see this album as a continuation of Ilse’s part of Flans, especially when comparing it to Flans’s final album, “Adios”.

My favorite songs from the album are some of the slower songs. I really like “La Vida Se Nos Va”, “Hablame” and “No Es Facil Decir Adios”, which don’t have much of an African vibe that is more with her faster upbeat songs. Overall, the album is fun but I don’t think that many of the faster songs are good, they are okay but still fun. It plays more like a “world music” album versus a Latin album.

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