Karina – “Sin Mascara” (1987) Album Review

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Sin Mascara marks Karina’s second album

I love going back to listen to albums that I grew up with, and it’s lovely to travel back for great music. Venezuelan pop singer, Karina roared through Mexico in the mid-80’s at a time when I was falling in love with Latin music. I absorbed every artist that I could get a hold of and Karina was one of those favorites. I remember watching “Estrellas Del Los 80″s and “Siempre En Domingo” when she came to Mexico for the first time. I couldn’t get enough of her.

Her debut album Amor A Millon (Love A Millon) was just a stepping stone for me. It was Sin Mascara (Without Mask) that allowed me to embrace Karina’s music, style, and sound. The album is far superior to her debut album in all aspects. I also believe this is one of the best albums of 1987 in the category of Latin pop. With a perfect balance of upbeat pop tunes and dramatic ballads, the album speaks volumes during a time of excess music.

With a 3D sound, Karina Sin Mascara is an album that you must appreciate with headphones

The song, “La Noche Es Magica” is a product of Ignacio Cano, of Mecano fame. The production of the song is brilliant. With headphones on, you can hear a distinctive right and left channel with Karina singing in different octaves. The sound almost becomes 3D like. Not many artists can produce a sound that must be appreciated only with headphones. Karina achieved with the album as a whole. Ignacio also lent his writing talents to the song, “Un Extraño Pez.”

With this album, Karina expanded her fan base to include Menudo fans. The single, “Sin Mascara” was featured in the Venezuelan soap opera with Proyecto M (Ex-Menudos) and also with a duet with Charlie Masso. The duet with Charlie was to become a campaign for educating young teens about waiting for sex. This campaign was similar to one three years early featuring pop singer, Tatiana, and former Menudo member, Johnny Lozada. Karina and Charlie’s song, “Creo En Ti” (I Believe In You) didn’t get as music recognition as the other, but it is a far better musical track.

Karina’s Sin Mascara gives songs whose lyrics are dark and intense. She makes you think and tells you a story at the same time. The album is magnificently produced by Rudy LaScala. If you happen to come across this album (vinyl), I recommend that you pick it up. It’s an essential album for your collection.

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