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Who Is Marques Houston? [Opinion]

Posted by ThatsMyJamRadio on May 9, 2010

The video for Marques Houston’s new single “Tonight” channels Michael Jackson and ― to a lesser extent ― Usher, Omarion, Chris Brown and the rest of the crop of young male R&B stars who are constantly pursuing the King of Pop’s throne.

The problems for the 28-year-old singer is that his path has been that of a trend-follower for the majority of his career and his possession of so many identities we occasionally lose track of which one is current.

So, who exactly is Marques Houston? He used to be a member of Immature, which replaced one of its members years prior to changing its name to IMx. While in the group, he was known as Batman, but has since gone by the monikers of MH, Mr. Houston and his given name. (And any Sister Sister fans will surely know him as the adorable-yet-annoying neighbor, Roger.)

Musically, 2003’s MH was heavy on influences from R. Kelly, specifically “Clubbin’” and “Pop That Booty.” 2005’s Naked was perhaps his most unique compilation, with “All Because of You” pre-dating Chris Brown’s “Excuse Me Miss,” though “Naked” sounds as if it’s chasing Usher’s Confessions (with the video mimicking D’Angelo’s “Untitled (How Does It Feel)”). The hits from 2007’s Veteran borrow sounds from female artists such as Ciara, Danity Kane and Mary J. Blige, while 2009’s Mr. Houston is influenced by sources as varied as John Mayer to J. Holiday.

With his next disc, Mattress Music, set for release this summer, “Tonight” seems to be setting Houston up for his fifth consecutive disc of good, but not quite memorable music. This is a shame, given that he’s demonstrated an ability to match trends, sing with conviction and dance on the same (or higher) level than his competition. But we feel his talent would be more appreciated if he could define who he is as an artist, rather than allowing himself to be clumped with competitors. Doing so would take the guesswork out of the question, “Who is Marques Houston?”

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