Ilse – “El Rio” (1996)

Ilse is known for being the third part of the Mexican pop group, Flans (or now known as Ilse Ivonne Mimi), but in the ’90s there was a short time where Ilse shared the stage with no one. This is the second and final album of Ilse’s short solo career. Sadly, El Rio determined Ilse’s fate.

When Flans disbanded, both Ilse and Mimi jumped into solo careers; both members had two albums to their name. Ilse’s debut solo album gave Ilse mild success though the album was very good and probably more ahead of its time. The lack of popularity and success from El Rio might have been caused by many reasons. Ilse didn’t have enough international success to pull her music to markets other than Mexico. The lack of shows like “Siempre En Domingo” which allowed fans outside of Mexico to see and learn about the artist’s new music probably didn’t help much. In 1996, younger musical acts were jumping on the scene. Kabah, Jeans, Sentidos Opuestos, and others were ruling the pop charts. Ilse more earthly and adult sound was overlooked by the music-buying demographics.

Ilse El Rio is a mellow, chill-out album that showcases her unique vocal sound.

For Flans fans, we were still holding on to any little hope of seeing Flans again. Having Ilse on her own was better than having none of the members in the media. Mimi was already off the stage for three years when El Rio was released.

Vocally, Ilse is Ilse and she will always be Ilse. Her voice is unique and maybe if we could have had Mimi and Ivonne as backup singers, El Rio could have made a nice follow-up to the Flans’ Adios. The music is pretty mellow and very adult contemporary. It did not have its own voice or a song that could pull it to the top of the pop charts. There were a few tracks that made an appearance on the chart but never spiked. As a whole, El Rio is an album that represented a different genre of 90’s pop music and Ilse knew how to deliver to make and enjoyable musical work.

As I mentioned, we didn’t have much hope for Flans returning at that point…but we didn’t have to wait long. Flans returned in 1999 for a little reunion.

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