Two Flavours of Bachata

May Playlist Highlights






Dame La Luz Dame la Luz - Arrasando Los Van Van Salsa Cuba
El Barrio El Barrio - La Sonora Libre 01 La Sonora Libre Salsa Ecuador/Spain
Anoche Soñé Contigo Anoche Soñé Contigo - Ecos del Barrio La Excelencia Salsa USA
Mambo Yo Yo Ricardo Lemvo Salsa Angola/USA
Que No Pase El Tiempo Pedrito Calvo Jr Salsa Cuba
Puerto Rico 2006 Puerto Rico 2006 - Decisión Unánime Victor Manuel Salsa USA
Que no Se Te Olvide Que No Se Te Olvide (Bachata Version) - I Love Bachata 2011 (16 Bachata Hits) Issac Delgado Bachata Cuba
Las Cosas Pequeñas Las Cosas Pequeñas - Phase II Prince Royce Bachata USA
Vocales de amor Vocales de Amor - El Duque de la Bachata Joan Soriano Bachata Dominican Republic
Dajabon Dajabon - Todo Exitos Luis Vargas Merengue Dominican Republic
Ahora Soy Yo Ahora Soy Yo (Album) - Viviendo Al Tiempo Eddy Herrera Merengue Dominican Republic
Quand tu n’es pas la Quand tu n'es pas la - Kizomba Summer 2011 Soumia Zouk France
Ay Que Rico Ay Que Rico (Oh How Good) - La Perfecta II Eddie Palmieri Cha Cha Cha USA


Two Flavours of Bachata

 Bachata is guitar based music from the Dominican Republic that has been around since the early 1900’s and has origins in Cuban bolero, Puerto Rican jibaro and West African and Caribbean rhythms.  Like many other Latin genres, it is made up of many sub-genres.  That being the case, for the sake of this article I am going to group bachata music of the last 20 years into two main sub-genres: classic and modern.  Classic bachata has a more traditional guitar heavy sound and features a lead, rhythm and bass guitar along with a güira and bongos.  Modern bachata on the other hand may feature the guitar but also draws on synthesized sounds and other musical styles such as hip-hop and reggaeton.  Also, modern bachata will often contain Spanish/English lyrics whereas classic bachata is sung mainly in Spanish.  These sub-genres share the same roots but can sound worlds apart.  Below I have highlighted a couple of artists and their recent work that typifies this.

Phase II by Prince Royce:  Geoffrey Royce Rojas aka Prince Royce, the 22 year old native of the Bronx, New York exploded on to the modern bachata scene with his self-titled debut album, Prince Royce, in 2010.  He is one of the poster boys of modern bachata, a group that includes such teen heartthrobs as Romeo Santos (Aventura), Toby Love and the members of Xtreme.  His first album, co-produced by Sergio George , reached number one on the US Billboard Latin Album chart.  It contained two smash hits “Stand by Me” and “Corazon Sin Cara” and sold enough copies to go double platinum.  Phase II, released in April of this year, is Prince Royce’s second offering and is starting to enjoy similar success.  Not quite as amazing as his first, it still has all the polish and is just as danceable as his debut album.  Phase II contains a collection of bachata songs that typify the modern bachata style: sexy, easy to listen to and easy to dance to.  The first single from the album, Las Cosas Pequeñas, is included in this month’s play list.

El Duque de la Bachata by Joan Soriano:  A native of the Dominican Republic, Joan Soriano was born in a rural area just outside Santo Domingo and is the 7th of 15 children.  Despite an inability to read music he is an exceptional bachata guitarist who has been lending is guitar and arranging talents to other artists since the early 1980’s.  In 2008 he began making music for himself and El Duque de la Bachata, released in 210, is his first international release.  Joan’s music would be considered progressive by traditional bachata standards but his sound is definitely classic bachata and it comes through in this album.  His steel string guitar playing is beautiful and the songs are a pleasure to listen to.  The album is not as polished as most modern bachata albums but this only adds to the music.  A documentary by the same name is also available and provides a window into Joan’s humble Dominican roots and the making of the album.

These two bachateros and their albums are literally worlds apart.  That said, both albums are fantastic in their own right and great examples of bachata music in general.  If you are a fan of bachata I highly recommend checking them out.

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