Marques Houston may have been a youngster when he started making music with Immature and IMX, but with yesterday's release of his third solo album, "Veteran," via T.U.G./Universal, the R&B singer

Marques Houston may have been a youngster when he started making music with Immature and IMX, but with yesterday's release of his third solo album, "Veteran," via T.U.G./Universal, the R&B singer hopes to show his fans a more mature, personal side.

"The last [album] was really sexually explicit, but this one is about relationships, love songs, break-ups -- the mushy stuff," Houston tells Billboard.com. "I'm 25 now. I'm just at a different place in my life, so I tried to put out music from my soul, something my fans would enjoy."

Houston, who penned nine out of 11 tracks for the project, says the music is so private that the Bryan Michael Cox-produced first single, "Circle," is actually about "something I'm going through now. You have a relationship where you're like, 'I wonder what's going to happen in the end.' You always wonder if it's going to come back. That's why the hook says, 'If you love something, let it go, and if it comes back, that's how you know.'"

The Ne-Yo-penned, Houston-co-produced track "Wonderful" is pegged as the next single. The new album also sports guest turns from Mya, Yung Joc and Shawnna.

Houston, who runs T.U.G. with partner Christopher Stokes, says he's grateful to have enjoyed such a long music career and still be relevant. "When I look back in my life, I can't really complain," he says. "A lot of people come out real big, they explode, and then you never hear from them."

One artist Houston thinks is primed for a similarly long run is Mims, so much so that he personally phoned him and asked to guest on a second remix of the latter's chart-topping single, "This Is Why I'm Hot." "He was like, 'Yeah, you can get on it and do it up, real big, remix style,'" says Houston. "That's my favorite song. I love that record."

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