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Phase II by Prince Royce
Released: Apr 2012
Label: Top Stop Music
Future historians may look back at this as the moment when bachata and R&B finally succumbed to the rhythms of their own satiny-slow dance and fully, blissfully merged. Here, Phase II draws us close into plaintively crooned, breathlessly intimate bachata ("Eres Tú"); there ("Addicted"), it dips us into sunny, morning-after soul; and just about everywhere, it spins us into a world where the line between them doesn't quite exist (see "Las Cosas Pequeñas"). Royce is a perfect matchmaker: He sings like Usher, woos like Bruno Mars and works the sultriest bachata shuffle this side of Santo Domingo.
Rachel Devitt