Marcus Canty

This...Is Marcus Canty

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The first season of the U.S. X Factor competition featured a fourth-place finish from this Maryland native, whose first charting single -- "Won't Make a Fool Out of You" -- was part of the Think Like a Man soundtrack. That song isn't on this introductory EP, which is led instead by "In & Out" (featuring Wale), a robust single that fared just a little better by peaking at number 56 on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The EP's other six songs have the kind of glossy synthesizers and hooks intended to point Canty toward Top 40 pop play; when this was released, it was more difficult than ever for new R&B artists to make a mainstream breakthrough without catering to pop. Canty has charm to spare, and nearly every line seems to be delivered with an "I can't believe this is happening" smile, but the majority of the material is not a great match for his ability. Hopefully he'll eventually get to handle some modern stylistic equivalents of the R&B classics ("A Song for You," "I'm Going Down," "Ain't Nobody") he nailed on The X Factor.

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