Previously known as the main protagonist of the brilliant Mull Historical Society, a band who had several indie hits in the early part of the century (including the ace 'Watching Xanadu'), Colin MacIntyre's solo career hasn't enjoyed the same levels of success as his previous outfit - but 'Island' follows last year's moderately well-received 'This Water', his first foray into the realm of solo survival.
The Scotsman's solo material is a much more stripped-down affair than the twinkling, occasionally rambunctiously twee material of Mull Historical Society; here, MacIntyre is more interested in telling his stories, than he is with blowing away the listener with his musical skills. It's far from a boring album, although it does fall flat in places: 'The Edge of Nearly' and 'Ned's Song', two songs that bookend 'Island', both bumble along gently, often veering close to the grey area of inoffensiveness.
Then again, MacIntyre does unleash his pop sensibilities in deft, Beatles-like blasts. 'I Can't Love You Now' and 'Breathe' are imperfect but charming harmony - and jangle-heavy tunes, while Kenny Anderson, aka King Creosote, also adds a richness to the shadowy 'Our Stealing Horses' with his deep timbre.
It may take a few listens to fully soak up 'Island', and even then, it's not an album that'll change your life. As an exercise in simplistic-yet-evocative songwriting, though, it's a pleasant way to pass 48 minutes.