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Prince Royce - 'Phase II' CD Review

A Look at The Second Album Produced by The Bachata Sensation Artist

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

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Photo Courtesy Atlantic

Prince Royce - 'Phase II'

Photo Courtesy Atlantic

Very often, artists who reach star level with a debut album fail miserably with the follow up work. Avoiding this trap was exactly the challenge that Phase II posed to the popular Bachata singer Prince Royce. After listening to Phase II, I think Prince Royce was able to meet that challenge with a production that consolidates the style of his self-titled debut album. The following is an overview of the way he managed that challenge.

Keeping The Style

Phase II is an album that maintains the style Prince Royce consolidated with his previous work. This 'conservative' approach usually pays well for artists who hit the market with a hugely popular debut album. Just like the previous album, Phase II is a bilingual production defined by its romantic appeal.

Thanks to songs like the already popular hit "Las Cosas Pequenas" and additional singles such as "Eres Tu," "Dulce" and "Mi Habitacion," Prince Royce is able to reinforce a unique style defined by his fresh voice, romantic style, and soft Bachata arrangements.

Innovative Stuff

Although Phase II maintains the style that Prince Royce has been defining since its debut work, there are a couple of songs featuring innovative elements that enhance the appeal of the whole album. One of them is "Incondicional," a single featuring a nice mix of traditional Mexican music with Bachata. Even though the sounds of Bachata prevails in the whole melody, the guitars and trumpets in the background add a nice flavor to this song.

Another interesting song is "Memorias," a track that combines Bolero with Bachata that reminds me of some of the famous Bachata-Bolero songs produced by Juan Luis Guerra. Both "Incondicional" and "Memorias" provide very romantic lyrics. This romanticism is one of the most evident imprints of this production.

Bachata Pop

Phase II is marked by a sound where very often Bachata meets Latin Pop music. There is a good amount of tracks on this album that could easily make it to the top 40 charts as Pop songs rather than Bachata tracks.

Some of these singles include titles like "Addicted," "Close To You" and "It's My Time". In fact, if you listen to these songs without knowing who Prince Royce is, you would not be able to guess this is an album dealing with Bachata music.

Although I personally like the soft melody and nice guitar playing of the song "Addicted," I think the other tracks represent the weakest side of this album. They sound a bit too mainstream and commercial to me. I think there are thousands of songs out there with the beats of those tracks. In other words, I think Prince Royce is as his best when he gets closer to the sounds of Bachata.

'Phase II' - Bottom Line

I think the most important thing Prince Royce achieved with Phase II was that of producing an album capable of meeting the expectations that he created with his debut album. With Phase II, the Bachata star consolidated his unique style and I would not be surprised if several of the tracks included on this album become hit songs in the near future.

Somehow, Phase II sounds a bit more Pop than Prince Royce. This element is reinforced by tracks that have a very mainstream, commercial style. Although I think this is the weakest part of this album, this can be normal for an artist who has transformed Bachata music into a mainstream phenomenon.

'Phase II' - Best Tracks

Record Label: Atlantic
Release Date: April 10, 2012
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