Jason Castro
Jason Castro


2.5
average

Review

by DaveyBoy EMERITUS
April 18th, 2010 | 114 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The new breed of Idol contestant finally delivers a passable debut.

Jason Castro is the antithesis of an American Idol entrant. Laid-back and seemingly oblivious to the criticism of Cowell & Co., the dreadlocked Texan ushered in a new breed of Idol contestant by finishing fourth in Season 7 of the series. Not only was Castro the first ever finalist to play an instrument on stage, but he also caused the biggest boost in digital sales when his cover of ‘Hallelujah’ propelled Jeff Buckley’s version to the top of the iTunes charts. From Sting’s ‘Fragile’ to Dylan’s ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’, Castro’s folk-pop style paved the way for subsequent Idol aspirants to the point that the similar Crystal Bowersox is currently favored to win Season 9. Consistent to his mellow demeanour, Castro has not been hurried into releasing his debut LP. An ambitious late 2009 release date which would have pitted him against Kris Allen & Adam Lambert was shelved, as was a February 2010 offering. That is why it is rather disappointing that the self-titled album has finally arrived, but with only 8 tracks spanning just 28 minutes.

Wasting no time showing his hand, opener ‘Let’s Just Fall In Love Again’ lays the foundation for the remainder of the album. Breezy and reminiscent of Jack Johnson’s more radio-friendly offerings, this chirpy lead single uses catchy toe-tapping melodies to sell Castro’s sincere and charming charisma. The 23 year old clearly knows his target demographic and does not deviate a great deal from his acoustic style. ‘Love Uncompromised’ adds a country twang, while ‘Closer’ is a little more electric, but the LP is predictably one-paced for the most part and only briefly adds ingredients such as strings and keys. Castro is a handy guitar player, but he never extends himself here, as any forays into blues and roots are nipped in the bud far too quickly.

Lyrically, it is all about one thing: L-O-V-E. Some tracks are so uplifting that they almost get sickening. Take, for example, ‘This Heart of Mine’ where Castro croons “Lately I’ve caught you smiling a little more. You’re beautiful and I’m all yours”. At its worst, it even gets a little tedious, with ‘It Matters To Me’ recounting the singers want for his partner to discuss their time away from each other. However, there is one standout exception to the uninvolving majority, and that is highlight ‘You Can Always Come Home’. Raw and emotional due to its affecting lyrics, it also has the advantage of providing an X-factor through the echoing vocals of Juno Award winning Canadian singer-songwriter Serena Ryder.

In a sense, the closer of Jason Castro’s self-titled debut LP is indicative of the album as a whole. Wisely including a studio recording of his version of ‘Hallelujah’, the interpretation may be solid and passable, but is ultimately too restrained to take it to the next level and stand out from the pack. The magic of the live performance is watered down and he only momentarily looks to test his voice. One can’t help but get the feeling that the potential is there with Castro, but one must wonder if his laid-back disposition could not only be a strength, but also the weakness which limits his capabilities.

Recommended Tracks: You Can Always Come Home, Closer & Let’s Just Fall In Love Again.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Emeritus
April 19th 2010


22500 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

So I checked the fine print of my contract with SputnikMusic & I apparently still have a few months to run on my “Idol clause”, which states that I have to review any past contestants album if no other review has been posted.

Parallels
April 19th 2010


9695 Comments


hmmm

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
April 19th 2010


22500 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I guess it should be noted that Amazon are selling this album with 6 extra tracks. However, the standard version of this album does only have 8 tracks in total... So I'm adjusting the track listing.

Blindsided
April 19th 2010


1871 Comments


Good thing I didn't want to take this away from you Davey.
I know how much you missed covering Adam Lamberts...

AtavanHalen
April 19th 2010


17920 Comments


I know it's uncool to like that guy, but I heard Whataya Want From Me on TV the other day and I really enjoyed it.

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
April 19th 2010


22500 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Good thing I didn't want to take this away from you Davey. I know how much you missed covering Adam Lamberts..." LOL. I actually wanted to review that for staff, but Dave DeSylvia had it dibbed. By the time I realized he wasn't going to review it, your review came along Joseph.



"I know it's uncool to like that guy, but I heard Whataya Want From Me on TV the other day and I really enjoyed it." I thought you'd love Lambert DavID... Some of the tracks on his debut LP are cool, including the one you just mentioned.



I am unsure if Castro would be your thing. I think the type of music could just be too damn "nice" for your liking.

tiesthatbind
April 19th 2010


7441 Comments


Whataya Want From Me is a great song, I won't exactly be checking out Lambert's album though.

Good review, DaveyBoy. It's a shame that Idol finalists for the most part have such predictable and safe records after the show. It doesn't surprise me at all that Castro is no exception.

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
April 19th 2010


22500 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks ttb... Oh yeah, this is predictable & safe to the max. I probably should have used those words more often in the review, but you obviously got the point.



The guy reminds me of surfers who haven't had a job in 5 years. Sounds like he has no worries in the world.

Emim
April 19th 2010


32428 Comments


He looks like Sonny Sandoval, just without the talent.

tiesthatbind
April 19th 2010


7441 Comments


I can't imagine this doing very well, he'll just blend into the charts for a while and then fade out like most Idol wash-outs.

Emim
April 19th 2010


32428 Comments


Never understood how he stayed for so long.

tiesthatbind
April 19th 2010


7441 Comments


Some people eat up that whole "laid-back surfer dude with dreads and a ukulele" thing, and don't care how talented or untalented the contestant is.

Emim
April 19th 2010


32428 Comments


I couldn't stand his lack of voice though personally.

tiesthatbind
April 19th 2010


7441 Comments


Yeah, I didn't like him either.

Emim
April 19th 2010


32428 Comments


*high five*

tiesthatbind
April 19th 2010


7441 Comments


*high fives Emim*

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
April 19th 2010


22500 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"He looks like Sonny Sandoval, just without the talent." Who is this person... Some metal singer?



"I can't imagine this doing very well, he'll just blend into the charts for a while and then fade out like most Idol wash-outs." Agreed. I think he'll always have his niche audience, but unless he finds a super single on his next album, I can't see him doing great business.



"Never understood how he stayed for so long." One word: Hallalejuh.



Just the fact that he was doing something different on the show than everyone else was a positive by me. And as I said in the intro of this review, I really do think he opened some doors. Who knows? Someone like Crystal (or even Siobhan) may not have entered had not Jason gone so far in the competition.

tiesthatbind
April 19th 2010


7441 Comments


I suppose... At least you haven't had to review a Sanjaya album.

Emim
April 19th 2010


32428 Comments


[img]http://oneloveforchi.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/62-Sonny-Sandoval.jpg[/img]
He's the singer for P.O.D.

tiesthatbind
April 19th 2010


7441 Comments


Payable on Death, brutal death metal, should be right up your alley, DaveyBoy.



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