Queen Thalía shares the love on new ‘Desamorfosis’ album

The Mexican pop star has released almost two dozen solo albums throughout her career, been called the queen of telenovelas and furthered her empire with a line of apparel, shoes and jewelry at Macy’s.

There’s plenty to love when it comes to Thalía

The Mexican pop star has released almost two dozen solo albums throughout her career after a run with the popular teen group Timbiriche. She’s been called the queen of telenovelas for her record-breaking string of Mexican soap operas that were translated for multiple countries and made her a global star. She’s furthered her empire with a line of apparel, shoes and jewelry at Macy’s that launched in 2015.

Like so many performers, love has been a running theme throughout her music. “Love” was the title of one of her earliest albums. The title track set a dark view of the emotion against a throbbing house beat. The 1997 anthem “Amor a la Mexicana,” fueled by mariachi horns, became one of her biggest hits. She covered Selena’s “Amor Prohibido” at a 2005 tribute concert in Houston. Last year, Thalía dedicated the poignant ballad “Por Amor al Arte” to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Her new album, “desAMORfosis,” explores love in real time. The 14-track collection, releasing May 14, is a concept album of sorts. It follows a relationship from first glance to final goodbye.

“It really was a moment to revisit things and find out why they were taking up space inside me. I let go of some emotions, of desamores (heartbreak); and those loves that have been so important in my life, I just thanked them and let them go. That was a metamorphosis of myself, like a new beginning, a change of skin,” Thalía, 49, says.

Thalía’s love language

Love (1993): A dark house anthem that was ahead of its time

Amándote (1995): Bouncy pop written by A.B. Quintanilla III and Ricky Vela of Selena y Los Dinos.

Amor a la Mexicana (1997): Thalía came into her own as a performer on the album title track.

Baby I’m in Love (2003): A silky single from her first English-language album.

You Know He Never Loved You/Amar Sin Ser Amada (2005): Brash dance-pop.

Amor Prohibido (2005): Thalía performed this Selena classic live in Houston.

Estoy Enamorado (2010): Duet with Puerto Rican singer Pedro Capo from her gorgeous “Primera Fila” live album.

Love Me Tender (2010): A virtual duet for the “Viva Elvis” tribute project.

Te Perdiste Mi Amor (2013): Heartbreak with bachata heartthrob Prince Royce.

Amore Mio (2015): Airy, powerful and one of Thalía’s best singles.

Solo Parecía Amor (2015): Thalía is frequently at her best on power ballads.

Vuélveme a Querer (2016): An even better display of power balladry.

Todavía te Quiero (2016): Thalía teams up with reggaetonero De la Ghetto.

Delving into love

The album title is a combination of the words desamor, amor and metamorfosis. (Thalía’s favorite love song? “No Ordinary Love” by Sade takes her “into another universe.”)

The cover features a rendering of Thalía in gold armor, her heart exposed through a window. A knife is positioned nearby, symbolizing the hurt she’s experienced. The songs are lush and mature, veering effortlessly from reggaeton and bachata to tropical and banda.

“It’s that first moment, when you have that contact. Your skin gets goosebumps, you have that attraction. The second song is when you’re blind, and you’re into this love. The third song is when the veil falls from the eyes, and you start really observing those terrible patterns in that person. You say, ‘This is not good, but I’m gonna try it.’ Then, the rupture of it,” she says.

“It’s all these trips through love until you at the end have to understand that if you don’t love yourself, and start with yourself, the rest is gonna be impossible.”

Staying at home

The album was recorded over the past year, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. That meant lots of solo sessions at home amid virtual meetings and family time. Thalía has two children with music executive Tommy Mottola. They’ve been married more than 20 years. She also stayed closely connected with fans on social media, particularly Instagram, where she has 17.5 million followers; and TikTok, with a whopping 50 million likes.

There are lyrical Easter eggs for fans throughout, references to past hits such as “Maria la del Barrio,” “Piel Morena” and “Valiente.”

“It’s a very personal album and, yes, it caught us during these strange times,” she says. “It’s been one year since we started this process: writing, co-writing, producing, finding different ways to present the songs, to sing them, working alone in my studio.”

She learned how to engineer her own vocals in Pro Tools and zip the files over to collaborators. Several singles from “desAMORfosis” were released over the past year, including “Ya Tu Me Conoces” with reggaeton duo Mau y Ricky; “La Luz” with rapper Myke Towers; and the empowering “Tick Tock” with Sofia Reyes and Farina. The album also includes pairings with “Dakiti” singer Jhay Cortez and Banda MS.

Musical roots

Thalía says she pushed the album’s young production team, including Latin Grammy winners Tainy, Edgar Barrera and Maffio, to add “real” elements and instruments to the songs.

“We are used to now this programming,” she says, mimicking electronic beeps and whirs. “We need a musician with real experience in his fingers, with stories to tell through the piano, through the bongo.”

To that end, “Barrio” is the album’s most personal moment, a rumbling tropical ode to Thalía’s childhood. She sings parts in a conversational tone, giving it an intimate feel. The lyrics came to her almost instantaneously after hearing the music, and she cried after hearing them.

“It was like a young Thalía, a teenager, 20s, 30s and the Thalía that I am today singing all those lyrics. It was so empowering and so beautiful,” she says. “That is the love for where you come from, accepting and loving all those roots and what makes you who you are today. Every song has something about me, a piece of my life. It can feel like a lot of vulnerability, but it’s like a liberation. It feels so good.”