Artist: Marques HoustonTitle: VeteranRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Shanita Riquel

If ever it were possible to use the words "underrated" and

"overexposed" to describe the same person, Marques "MH" Houston would

be the strongest example. MH has been entertaining us since he was 12,

and still his level of skill as a singer and songwriter remains in

question. Veteran (Universal Motown) is his attempt to finally prove himself to those that

have slept on him, by reminding them of his consistency and demanding

their respect. For a man that refuses to wear clothing, this could be

asking too much. However, with an album as persuasive as Veteran, it

could very well happen.

Marques was involved in writing at least half of the 12 tracks. Other

contributors include Bryan Michael Cox, The Underdogs, Chris Stokes and

Tank. The result is a beautifully written, sensual album without an

overkill of graphic and sexual lyrics. The only exception being

"Kimberly," a song rumored to be about a certain young model, further

adding to the speculation about their relationship. He brags about

their supposed activities with the pride of a kid that just got back

from summer vacation. The track comes off as weak and out of place, but

may stir up the controversy that has led to hits for other artists.

Yung Joc is a huge attraction with his raspy, chopped up vocals on the

club track "Like This." An almost immediate single, this song will draw

even more attention to the Atlanta rapper. Mya and Shawnna both

have spots on "Hold N'Back," which will be one of Mya's first musical

appearances in almost four years.

All gimmicks aside, this album could stand on content and quality

alone. The lead single, "Circle" is vivid and dramatic. It is easily

understood why this song was chosen as it gives listeners the clearest

picture of what to expect from the rest of Veteran. Follow that up with

tracks like "Always & Forever" and "Exclusively," and see the growth of

a man who once proudly wore the title of Immature. Filled mostly with

mid-tempo songs and ballads, it is ideal for the listener that is more

interested in content than what will be popular in clubs.