29 year old R&B singer/actor Marques Houston recently released his fifth solo effort, Mattress Music. The album is exactly what it says on the ‘tin’; a project for “serenading”, with tracks like ‘Explosion’, ‘Noize’, ‘Waterfall’ and ‘Made a Mess’… you get the drift.

Mattress Music
miraculously is just a 3-man producing/writing crew; Marques Houston, Eric Cire and Chris Stokes, his team from when he released his first solo effort ‘MH’, back in 2003, and actually works pretty well for them all. However, I believe, if Marques was be more willing to work with different producers and writers, he could easily produce an album that help him achieve global/mainstream recognition and put him in the ranks with Trey Songz and Ne-Yo.

The track ‘Explosion’ is pretty basic and didn’t fully capture me on first listen, with lyrics like “lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick you all over” you get a taste of what I mean [pun intended].

The album tries too hard to be the effortless ‘baby-making/slow-jam’ genre of music as previous albums. However, as I got further into the album, I couldn’t figure out if I was still listening to MH or if my iPod had somehow jumped to a Trey Songz single. MH seems to have developed the deep lip-pout, deep-voice, style of singing [that’s my technical term for it] that Trey does so well. It even goes as far as ‘Kicking & Screaming’ sounding like a sample of Trey Songz ‘LOL Smiley Face’ – by this point I’m fully confused.

‘Mess’ may be the most explicit track on the album; hearing it made me spit out my morning coffee. Not exactly appropriate for 8am on a Tuesday morning. While there are strong songs on the album, there are a few tracks to avoid such as ‘Swag Sex’ feat Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em.

Although not my favourite album from Mr. Houston, I do not think this album will adversely hurt career, however nor will it launch him into international stardom.