Bachata singer-songwriter Romeo Santos, born in Bronx, New York, recently released the video for his latest single, "Propuesta Indecente." (Facebook/Romeo Santos Online)
A world-renowned singer, songwriter, and heartthrob Romeo Santos has swept the realms of music and artistries within the entertainment industry over the past years.
His peers and his fans have adored his work. He is held responsible for inducing heartache to people who have never felt it in real life and guilt to those who have never cheated. The mere involvement in his songs convicts every listener to a part in the incidents of passion and lust that burn like a fire through their ears as they reflect their own inner temptations.
This fire wasn’t always blazing; it started out as a flicker in the beginning of Romeo Santos’ road to self-discovery. Lets take for instance one of his first songs, “Cuando Volveras.” It’s a beautiful song, of course, but rough around the edges. The initial issue is the wordiness of his lines. He crowds in a multiplicity of feelings in lines that are bursting from their margins. The song lacks a flow aesthetically necessary in romantic songs. The personality of a young mind is present in these lyrics; it’s felt through the clutter in the lines.
In “Cuando Volveras,” a woman is talked about as being gone and missed as any loving man would experience, but the passion isn’t as ardent as one realistically would experience. The feelings of lost love here are contained. The character in this song pleads this woman to return to him, all in his own mind, the thoughts never leaving his own heart. This song lacked a connection to the audience; it was more like a rant with music rather than a conversation with the listener. The feelings and music are overpowered by too many words. Not to mention the fact that Romeo Santos himself sounds like he is running out of breath, the song is too distracting to fully impact he emotions of the listener. But it’s still a darn good tune!
Lyrical growth and musical transformations continue throughout the entirety of a songwriter’s life. For Romeo Santos, “Obsession” would stamp his next step. In this song, the thoughts start inside the mind of the singer; he is speaking to the woman and trying to convince himself of the reality of her supposed feelings. However, through the chorus we find out she does not reciprocate the feelings. Romeo Santos speaks the thought of an obsessed lover, anxious and nervous with a love that cannot be fulfilled or reciprocated. This feeling of love is one sided in reality but, in his mind, is full blown and blossomed.
The scene in this character’s head has taken place in the head of every lover who hears the song. The moment you fall in love but only to realize you were the only one on the boat. The story in this song flows from the mind of the character, and it is much less crowded on paper as the lines are delivered in a cleaner manner. The difference here from the last is the concise message that is not lost in the music. Instead, it is carried with the beat of the song. Romeo Santos has established a signature of simplicity that romances his audience and begins to differentiate Romeo Santos the boy from the man.
Powering through with a simple courtship fueled by intimate emotions, Romeo Santos enters the dark and forgotten crevices of his fan’s souls through songs that envelop the emotions, such as in “Hermanita.” In this song, Romeo Santos touches on the reality inside the privacy of a home, a sister’s home. As a protagonist, he successfully narrates and interjects his own feelings towards the character’s sister. He is both a character and omnipresent narrator. He weaves in and out of the characters feelings and the sister’s feelings, providing an insight into both grieving souls.
The mood in “Hermanita” is a complete opposite of his sensually charged bachatas. Thusly, it proves his eclectic ability to poetically narrate life’s intricacies. Romeo Santos connects his listeners to the characters in this song; he pulls the audience into the intimacy in the pain that we go through as humans. Through all this we see his own personal beliefs shine through as he reflects his own familial values. The respect of a brother towards his sister with the grappling of his love as a protector reels in the feelings of family bonds. With this said, one must acknowledge his wide range of messages thus far: love lost, love never found and love bound by boundaries.
Lets talk lust – a little more about boundaries, as is pertinent when Romeo Santos is leaping into sensuality and sexually charged lyrics. In the song “Un Beso,” the passion of the kiss is captured. Described as overpowering the boundaries of religion, gravity and even culture, it is its own language of love.
The love that “Une Beso” is speaking of is the kind of pure and sincere love not tainted by anything real yet. The idea that Romeo Santos doesn’t draw from real personal experiences becomes apparent here. Because the song is not him saying that he is kissing this girl, he is talking about the longing for a kiss. Leaving the audience only with the memories of their own first kisses that caused them to forget about all reality and dream about the purity of a shared kiss. Therein lies the romance in this song, in the fact that a simple kiss could arise so many feelings without any sexuality. The romance in simple pleasures is present as a signature of Romeo Santos thus far.
From simplicity to a classic case of its complicated, “Los Infieles” opens up with comments about infidelity being frowned upon. The meaning of love here is thwarted as they claim to have this affair because of their great love for their partners. Looking back at the progression of the topics in the songs Romeo Santos has written, we can see the boyish sadness of the lost love from the beginning has developed into a hunger for sexuality. The danger in this song that has not been present in the others attracts the darkness in all of us as we all crave to feed our temptations. In this song, the boundaries are pushed as Romeo Santos challenges his listeners to be true to their own lies. The idea of an affair is sensualized and turned into a game.
Expectantly, after playing with fire, there is pain. “Dile Al amor” portrays the depth of the pain left in the heart of a broken soul. The anger towards the carrier of love comes naturally when you have been beaten down to a pulp by it. This song tells the story of a broken heart telling love to not come knocking in fear of being found again. The materialization of the heart into a being of its own here conveys the strength that the heart has over a person. Romeo draws out the pain in the heart of the character here and uses it to sing to those in his audience that are going through heartache. Songs should have this magic, to touch the hearts and minds of complete strangers bringing them in unison of emotions. This song not only regards the heart as delicate, but it places the person as the sole protector of it and, therefore, teaching listeners to be in control of their own emotions.
As if singing of sex and lust wasn’t pushing the limits of pop culture and the threshold of the audience enough, Romeo Santos joins forces with lustful Usher in their collaboration of “Promise,” a neoteric look at the bachata genre. The love is back people, as these two gentlemen promise to legitimately love this woman. Although the song deviates from a real connection to the emotions, it does move the feet and, rhythmically, is refreshing to hear a mix of bachata and R&B.
Now, Romeo Santos has new material. He steps into a change in tempo in “Propuesta Indecente” – a change in the range of his voice as he takes his pitch up and keeps a bit of the raspiness for sexual undertones, not that anyone is complaining. The song vaguely resembles “Los Infieles” combined with “Un Beso” with the classiness turned all the way up as the grown and sexy is celebrated.
In “Propuesta Indecente,” he asks permission to seduce the woman, to make her feel good. The focus is no longer on the needs of himself as a character, but the focus is now on making the woman feel sexy as well. The sexy that has been in the previous songs has evolved to a proposed opportunity to enter in mutual physical and sexual gratification through a series of respectful and explicitly forwards actions. It is safe to say that Romeo Santos is no longer drawing scenes to unify his listeners; he is now making his pheromones introduce his presence. The bachata rhythm is maintained but it is toned down slow enough to dance to and fast enough to make you grab on to your partner.
In brief and to our fortune, Romero Santos is a true alchemist as he turns words into songs, thoughts into emotions and lust into love. The romance he embeds in every song no matter the darkness is impeccable and as Romero Santos himself has stood the test of time. He has evolved from a boy with only an idea of love to a man with strict directions of how to love. He transitions from stage to stage in his songs with grace as his transition into soloist followed.
Bachata, lust, love, affairs and lonely nights will never be the same without Romero Santos.