Prince Royce

Phase II

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Having taken a few more cues from the R&B crowd -- like dropping his trademark "Royyyyyccce" at the beginning of tracks -- Prince Royce's mix of urban, bachata, and Latin pop felt especially fresh and exciting as this sophomore effort landed on shelves, but this ballad-driven release is far from gimmicky. From the massive "it's the little things" hit "Los Cosas Pequeñas," to the broad and uplifting dance-pop of "It's My Time," Prince Royce proves himself to be a talented, heartfelt singer, pulling a lot of soul out of a soft, amiable -- you could even call if featherweight -- voice. It's that light bit of his delivery that makes him approachable, and even if he's got the pedigree of a Dominican kid growing up in oh-so-cool N.Y.C., he's both hip and growing increasingly true to the music, delivering the album's more Bieber, Black Eyed Peas, and Selena moments in a style that's connectable over just crossover. With the genre-spanning and the man's delivery both more natural, the rewarding Phase II is a substantial step up from Royce's debut.

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