As I listen to Jason Castro's self-titled debut album, I have a huge smile on my face. I first came across Jason on a little show by the name of American Idol back in 2008. Here was a blue-eyed Texan with dreadlocks, a laid-back demeanor, and a voice that brought folk/pop front and center to season seven of Idol.
What is refreshing about Jason is that his album represents the same artist we got to know during his run on Idol. He still has his folk-pop sound, but on songs like "It Matters To Me" there's an added country feel.
Jason released the single "Let's Just Fall In Love Again" last fall and the song showed his strength as a songwriter. It also portrayed the fun, playful side to his personality. The song can currently be heard in commercials for Overstock.com.
His latest single, "That's What I'm Here For," shows warmth and compassion within his lyrics. I think it was a great choice for a single, as it encompasses who Jason is as an artist. There's a difference to his voice now; while it still has a soft and sincere quality, it has a richness to it that has very much enhanced his overall sound.
I really hope that "Love Uncompromised" is being considered as a single, because I find it the best song on the whole album. I think Jason's audience will really be able to connect with the song. As a listener, I could feel the emotion in the words he is singing.
Other standouts include "You Can Always Come Home," featuring the very talented Serena Ryder. Her voice compliments Jason's perfectly. Also, his cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" rounds out the album. Also, it was the song that catapulted Jason into Idol's Top 12 during season seven. I think it was the best song to close the album with, because it shows that even though he has grown as a singer and an artist, he recognizes the stepping stone that helped lead him to where he is today in his career.
Jason Castro's self-titled album will be released on April 13.
A Definite Download: "Love Uncompromised," "That's What I'm Here For."