Marques Houston


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On the strength of the easygoing "That Girl" and the R. Kelly-produced "Clubbin'," Marques Houston's long-delayed solo debut, MH, got off to a strong start. Beyond that, there's the to-be-expected, sexually forward, "See how I've matured now" single in the form of "Pop That Booty," where Jermaine Dupri adds a verse that crosses a suggestive track over into raunchy territory. Though the upbeat club tracks gained most of the attention, the softer, more sincere tracks -- such as the sweet "Can I Call You," where Houston effortlessly flexes his considerable vocal skills -- are just as effective. Houston doesn't have much in the way of originality to offer, but he and his collaborators have put together a respectable album that should retain his original fan base while adding some new admirers. The fact that Houston co-produced and wrote a handful of the songs -- some of which are among the album's best -- bodes well for a future that he's been keeping in mind ever since the Immature days. (Remixes of "That Girl" and "Clubbin'" are appended to the album proper, sweetening the deal for fans.)

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