Following his fourth-place finish in the seventh season of American Idol, Jason Castro released his self-titled debut, leading to some mainstream success. Instead of a typical re-release, he now comes out with his debut for the Christian market, Who I Am, featuring five tracks from his first debut and five new offerings.
The album begins with the vocally unimpressive "What If I Fall," although the track does offer some introspective thoughts. Next is the worshipful "You Are," which begins underwhelmingly, but definitely picks up the pace to end up being a strong single. "Who I Really Am" and "Wait (For A Miracle)" both present often overused themes in Christian music, and are not memorable offerings of new material to the worship genre. On the other hand, "Changing Colors" presents a slightly more original concept, and is musically a strong addition as well.
Most of the tracks included from Castro's earlier release revolve around love and relationships. The album's standouts, "Let's Just Fall In Love Again" and "This Heart Of Mine," are easily the most upbeat songs on the album and showcase Castro's talent in the light-pop realm. "That's What I'm Here For" begins acoustically and grows into instrumental complexity. However, vocal strength and originality are not present. "It Matters To Me" is slightly more vocally demanding, but lacks musical or lyrical distinction. The album concludes with a cover of Leonard Cohen's classic "Hallelujah," which Castro originally debuted on Idol. Like most versions of this song, Castro's vocals are heartfelt and touching, but his take cannot be considered a standout when compared to other offerings.
Who I Am ends up seeming like a version of Castro's sound specifically tailored for the Christian market. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but the worshipful additions do not quite add a sense of originality to the album's overall sound. With less than stunning vocal challenges attempted, there is little to recognize as truly impressive with this release.
- Review date: 11/8/10, written by Samantha Schaumberg of Jesusfreakhideout.com