Marques Houston: Mr. Houston

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Posted September 15, 2010 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0

marqueshouston00Mr. Houston gives former Immature singer more sexual ooze, but far too many vocal personalities invade set

Former IMX pop tart and slowly-groomed crooner Marques Houston lines himself up for a hodgepodge of contemporary R&B and urban hip-hop catered to a list of different musical artists on Mr. Houston. There’s a set of the dreadful Autotune meanderings on board. While “I Love Her” seems to be the most sufficient of the radio-anchored gems, “Express Lane” expounds further on Jamie Foxx’s robotic “Blame It.” On “Body,” Houston goes into the classic Ginuwine framework and pulls off a sexy tease filtered with Isley-like guitar plunks. It his latest attempt at sounding super cool and current, with the help of some careful production choices. Most of the work here emulates his slow bedroom balladry, but there’s some good grown-up lyricism (“Case of You”) and musical explorations that helps give the album some cred power. Obviously, with all the vocal shifts from DeBarge falsetto to Usher’s youthful coolness and then to Joe-like crooning, it’s still hard to really categorize and define Houston’s musical identity. His voice, still charismatically thin, falters from reaching an exceeding apparatus in modern soul. There isn’t much progress made since Naked and Veteran, only that the selected style of grown-and-sexy R&B fits him well. There’s still much room for improvement. Yet in the day when Trey Songz, The-Dream and Pretty-Ricky currently reign the world of urban ringtones, Houston is shaping up to become a potential presence in R&B’s elite ring of male balladeers.

J MATTHEW COBB

HIFI DETAILS

  • Release Date: 29 Sept 2009
  • Label: T.C.E./Fontana
  • Producers: Les Butler, Joaquin Bynum, Derek “Doc” Clarke, Noel “Detail” Fisher, Marques Houston, Christopher Jenkins, Alex Cantrall
  • Track Favs: Express Lane, Case of You, Body

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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