There isn’t a lot of crossover between the music played at ballparks and the music heard in the hallways of middle schools — the former tends to be jock rock and decades-old commercial rap, the latter is usually pop and of-the-moment commercial rap. But every once in a while, a song is so widely appealing that it can be enjoyed by major leaguers and teen girls alike. The Jay-Z/Alicia Keys N.Y.C. anthem “Empire State of Mind” is a semi-recent example of one such tune; Usher’s “Yeah!” is a less current one. Those tracks are now joined by “It’s My Time” from sweet-voiced bachata singer Prince Royce. The high-energy dance track, sung in Spanish and English, is included on Royce’s latest album, “Phase II,” and it is equally loved by 13-year-old girls and Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who has adopted the song as a theme of sorts.
That sort of broad success is not new to Royce, whose 2010 bilingual cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” was a multinational, multigenerational hit. “Phase II” pulls in a wide swath of listeners, yes, by mixing Spanish- and English-language tracks, but there are other methods, too. “Addicted” starts out sounding like a Jason Mraz ballad until a conga rhythm comes in about a minute into the song. Lead single “Las Cosas Pequenas” presents as a standard radio R&B tune until the bachata elements come in and Royce starts singing about the little things that make a relationship special. All of the mixing and matching not only expands the definition of bachata, a genre with roots in the Dominican Republic, but the other styles that are folded in as well.