Though he’s found no small amount of success in his career opposite reggaetoneros and traperos, Prince Royce will forever be regarded as bachata royalty. Few artists in his chosen genre have captured and cultivated heartache, heartbreak, and happiness quite like the Bronx-born singer. His first album since 2020’s ALTER EGO, the 23-song LLAMADA PERDIDA reinforces that lofty status—even more impressive considering his beloved first album dropped nearly a decade and a half ago. Those who’ve followed Royce all this time know he can get right to the heart of the matter in short order. Opener “La Corriente” does just that, documenting his descent into a romantic madness. Befitting its blunt title, “Sufro” shows the uglier flip side of that elated state, the pain of lost love as visceral as any physical ailment. Uninhibited sentiments on “Lao’ a Lao’” find their downer counterpoints via “Te Espero” (a duet with Maria Becerra) and “Otra Vez,” these ups and downs so familiar to his fans. Even still, he experiments freely within the genre format, leading to some of the album’s most compelling moments. He fuses música mexicana elements with his own tropical style on “Cosas de la Peda,” with no less than Gabito Ballesteros by his side. Elsewhere, he calls subtly back to his prior reggaetón escapades on the pensive “¿Cómo Salimos de Este Lío?” and brings an exuberant electronic pop energy to “Morfina.” Occasionally, he’ll deviate from the path altogether, as with the pure ballad “Frío en el Infierno,” yet even those scenic routes inevitably bring him back to the beauty and agony of bachata.

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