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Famous is the sixth solo album from singer/actor Marques Houston. The project will be released on Silent Partner Entertainment/Shanachie Entertainment. Famous clocks in just under 44 minutes and contains several strong mid-tempo tracks and ballads. The D’Angeloesque “Leaving My Girl” is definitely a contender for the “lay back and vibe” award, as it does a great job at eliciting that particularly pensive mood. The track allows Marques to run through a couple of vocal registers and highlights a nice roundness on the low end.

“Lifetime” is a well-crafted and memorable melodic ballad. I anticipate that it will become a fan favorite from this project and sounds well-suited for a romantic theme in a cine-play. Famous opens with a nod to Marvin Gaye on the track “Only You”. In fact Marques describes Famous as an opportunity to take his artistry to the next level with a sensual, evocative Marvin Gaye meets D’Angelo feel.

What I hoped to hear more of on the project was some of the more earthy/organic sounds that Marvin and D’Angelo are known for. I understand that it’s not always practical, both from an economic standpoint as well as sometimes time constraints to have a completely live rhythm section, augmented by horns and strings but that’s often the place that my ear goes when I think of those particular Soul Men. Also, probably in my heightened sense of the organic, I found the use of a certain vocal effect just a bit too much in the overall presentation. Whereas we can strive for absolute perfection from a technical standpoint, sometimes the beauty of an emotive vocal that is vulnerable can be missed.

Make sure you checkout Famous from Marques Houston out August 27th(tomorrow) on Silent Partner Entertainment/Shanachie Entertainment.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.