Prince Royce | Rosemont Theater | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Prince Royce

Prince Royce

When: Thu., Aug. 21, 8 p.m. 2014
Price: $49-$125
Born in the Bronx, 25-year-old singer and producer Prince Royce is among the artists building bigger audiences around the country for an updated take on bachata—a Dominican form of popular song whose heart-on-sleeve ballads combine delicate guitars and heavy emotions. As a teen, while his Bronx brethren Aventura brought bachata to bigger and bigger stages, Royce knocked around New York honing his craft; in 2010, he made his mark nationally with a dreamy bilingual cover of “Stand by Me” that landed him a duet with Ben E. King at the Latin Grammys. Last year he released Soy el Mismo (Sony Music Latin), his third album, and though it takes frequent flights of fancy stylistically, it coheres thanks to its grounding in bachata’s fundamentals—syncopated acoustic guitar, intricate percussion, and romance. The record’s most blatant crossover bid, “Already Missing You” (where Selena Gomez acts as Royce’s romantic foil), jettisons the guitars entirely in favor of stabbing, swooping Eurodance synths driven by a stomping programmed beat, but the sparse “You Are Fire” (which deserves the ears of pop-radio programmers too) wraps Royce’s murmured sweet nothings in luxurious, ethereal synths and stately acoustic arpeggios. —Maura Johnston
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