With his rich tenor voice, distinctive looks, and endearingly innocent charm, Jason Castro won over millions of viewers as a contestant on the seventh season of American Idol, parlaying his substantial singer-songwriter appeal into a third-place runner-up finish.
He may not have won the competition, but the 22-year-old Texan earned himself a devoted fan base eager to hear what he would do once freed to perform his own songs. Those folks will get their chance with the release of Castro's self-titled album.
Though rooted in the classic, melody-minded singer-songwriter tradition, with heart-on-sleeve lyrics and acoustic guitar-driven arrangements, the album brims with toe-tapping pop (first single "Let's Just Fall In Love Again," "This Heart Of Mine"), strummy folk ("That's What I'm Here For"), and electrifying rock ("Closer") - all cleverly balanced with unabashedly emotional tunes like "Love Uncompromised," "It Matters To Me," "You Can Always Come Home," and a stunning version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" (which Castro performed on Idol, citing Jeff Buckley's version as a huge inspiration to him as an artist).
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