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Jason Castro releases pop-folk debut

"American Idol" alum Jason Castro releases his self-titled

"American Idol" alum Jason Castro releases his self-titled album on April 13. Credit: Handout

Jason Castro is a master of reinvention. Who knew?

The Dreadlocked One left "American Idol" two seasons ago as the affable, slightly dopey folky known for being laid-back and forgetful, but returns with "Jason Castro" (Atlantic), a charming, well-crafted collection of catchy pop-folk.

Producer Eric Rosse puts Castro's warm, engaging voice front and center, letting it carry the breezy "Let's Just Fall in Love Again" and the touching duet with Serena Ryder, "You Can Always Come Home." The single "That's What I'm Here For" is poignant enough to introduce anyone or, in Castro's case, reintroduce him as a promising brand new star.

Jason Castro: "Jason Castro"

The grade: B+

Bottom line: A suprisingly sharp pop-folk debut

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