Tody Castillo, Tody Castillo

Tody Castillo, <em>Tody Castillo</em>

I hate this album. Seriously. Since the first time I listened to it, anything else I attempt to listen to pales in comparison, and I have to switch back. It’s becoming annoying. I blew a $100 gift certificate on iTunes in January but have yet to even make it through two songs on any of those albums before turning it off and putting Tody’s album back on. And since I listen to music pretty much constantly throughout the day, it’s a real testament to the brilliance of this album.

Castillo is a Houston musician, and his album is as near to perfection as one could strive for. Much of the music is akin to early Ryan Adams, but Castillo doesn’t stick to one genre. A lot of the album rocks like Tom Petty, and the songwriting (except perhaps for the immature-yet-honest “Politics”) is excellent. His songs follow the ever-popular theme of love and loss, but that’s something to which we all can relate, at least. Castillo and company — he was assisted in the studio by drummer Paul Valdez, bassists Steve Brown and Ryan Biddle, keyboardists Eddie Hobozal and Cameron Dezen, and background vocalist Mando Saenz — work together to create honest and heartfelt songs.

“This Is Love,” “Independence Day,” and “Don’t Leave The Country” are a few of the album’s high points, but “I’m Gonna Change” and “Brainwashed” are also undeniably addictive. Listeners will find Castillo’s heartfelt songwriting and musicianship a forceful combination.

Produced by Castillo at Houston’s Sugar Hill Studios with engineer Steve Christianson, the album sounds clean but not overly polished. Albums like Castillo’s will help the Houston music scene get the attention it richly deserves — hopefully more musicians will take the time and money necessary to craft an album this good. I cannot recommend it enough.

(Chula Records; Tody Castillo --

Review by . Review posted Tuesday, March 1st, 2005. Filed under Reviews.

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