Album Review – Jason Castro’s Self-Titled Album (Deluxe)
- Let’s Just Fall In Love Again
- This Heart Of Mine
- That’s What I’m Here For
- Heart Of Stone*
- If I Were You*
- You Can Always Come Home [Feat. Serena Ryder]
- Love Uncompromised
- All Wrapped Up*
- It Matters To Me
- Let’s Just Fall In Love Again (Acoustic Version)*
- Sweet Medicine*
- Over The Rainbow*
(* Extra tracks that are in the Deluxe version)
Well, it took two years, but American Idol Season 7 Top 4 finalist Jason Castro has finally achieved his dream of putting out a debut album – eponymously titled ‘Jason Castro‘ – and surprise surprise, looks like he got to do it on his own terms. I hope that his AI fans have stayed patient & supportive, because I think that Jason did a darned good job of absolutely staying true to the ‘Jason’ fans liked on Idol, while also showing a lot of artistic and vocal growth in the interim. Who knew the too-laid back dude with the stoner vibe would end up producing the best album from his batch? And yes, as someone who has taken the trouble to listen to all the albums the Season 7 grads have put out (just waiting on Carly Smithson to complete the collection), that’s my unvarnished opinion. The only album I’d rank up there from Season 7 would be Brooke White’s ‘High Hopes & Heartbreak‘ which is like the spirit-sister of Jason’s album.
The whole vibe of the album is laid back singer-songwriter, very folksy-pop, guitar- and melody-driven, pretty retro in style. Overall, the album is well-crafted and produced, and Jason’s voice sounds way stronger, fuller and more confident than he ever has in the past. My main criticism is mostly a matter of taste – just found too much singing about love – but hey, if his muse was his girlfriend (now wife), I guess that’s what he’s going to sing/write about. Hence, we have such determinedly perky and chirpy songs about romance like ‘Let’s Just Fall In Love Again‘, ‘This Heart of Mine‘, ‘Closer‘, ‘All Wrapped Up‘ or sappy ones like It Matters to Me – hey, maybe I like a limit on the amount of sunshine I get via an album ;-) *Just wanted to mention that out of the peppy songs, I like ‘Closer‘ the best – it’s very catchy pop and I don’t know, there’s a laid back sexiness to it that I like. And the falsetto woo-hoos are fun! (Plus, I think Jason will be able to rock out with this song live).
I prefer the more angsty stuff though… with That’s What I’m Here For definitely growing on me (didn’t really appreciate it on first listen), and I’ve found myself humming “when you need a little less or you want a little more” now and then. And it should be no surprise that my favorite track off the album is You Can Always Come Home [Feat. Serena Ryder], and that’s been my fave even from Jason’s EP. I love how Jason and Serena harmonize on the song (and really, I should check this chick’s music out since I have a feeling I’ll like it) – and yes, it’s one of the ‘love’ songs, but with a twist – it’s a bittersweet romantic song filled with almost-what-if emotions…
The Deluxe version also includes two covers Hallelujah and Over The Rainbow – they’re obviously in the album to please the AI fans who frequently count these two as favorite performances of Jason’s. Me, I could’ve done without Over The Rainbow, but Hallelujah always creates its own magic, so it’s a special treat to listen to how Jason fully inhabits this song now :-)
I have no idea how his songs will do on radio (I’m referring to HAC or AC only though, since IMO Top 40’s a wash), but there is a niche for albums like his, and maybe, Jason has a good shot of going outside the AI bubble and attracting peeps who dig this sound if he tours enough and reaches enough people.
Jason Castro’s debut album (Deluxe Edition) is available on Amazon – MP3 album ($10.99) or Audio CD ($13.99) and iTunes ($12.99). The 8-track album is also available on Amazon – MP3 album ($7.99) or Audio CD ($5.99) and iTunes ($9.99).
|Listen to “Closer”|