Cristian Castro

When: Sat., Oct. 26 2013

CRISTIAN CASTRO Mexican dreamboat balladeer Cristian Castro is blessed with smoky-eyed good looks, a sensitive voice and a celebrity family. After following his actress mother into telenovela exposure, Castro transitioned to singing teen idol, avoiding all Bieber-esque pitfalls to kick start a grown-up career in the ’90s. Lending his glossy croon to bland-but-burnished ballads and occasional up-tempo pop, Castro scored a string of hits. Yet his charmed life jumped the rails in the early 2000s, when two failed marriages and toxic family relations turned Castro into perennial tabloid fodder. Getting more notice for sulky bad boy antics than his syrupy, over-produced oeuvre, he sharpened his craft by paying tribute to artists who inspired him. He tackled the mariachi tradition of ranchera icon Vicente Fernández on 2007 LP El Indomable, yielding surprisingly solid results. More recently, he brought craftsmanship and luster to a pair of LPs covering traditional crooner José José. Yet even on these homages, Castro plays it as safe as his formulaic ballads. Instead of inspired interpreter, he’s a polished copyist, lacking the gravitas and sincerity of his idols.

Pat Moran