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Album Review

Colin MacIntyre's debut album as Mull Historical Society is filled to the brim with doe-eyed heavenly melodies, whiny singing, and wacky lyrics, and it's catchy in the all the right ways. At the same time, the album suffers from a certain sameness, and there seems to be no off switch when it comes to MacIntyre's search for the perfect hook. Where one would expect a quiet change of pace, MacIntyre doesn't relent and simply piles on more and more exuberant instrumentation. Loss sounds like it was recorded by some illegitimate, hybrid amalgamation of Babybird, Electric Light Orchestra, the Divine Comedy, and Supertramp, all bands who are known more for their melodies and catchiness than their subtlety. When MacIntyre is firing on all cylinders, his music is immensely exhilarating. "Public Service Announcer" is certainly whiny, but MacIntyre punctuates his vocals with the melody to the point where the song becomes one harmonic beast. "Instead" is equally sublime in its pretty, all-over-map attack, as MacIntyre sings "hold on to loneliness" and a child's choir provides a delicate backdrop. That Loss is a bombastic ride is both its strongest selling point and its Achilles' heel. Colin MacIntyre is an extremely talented songwriter, and if Loss was just a bit more varied and about 20 minutes shorter, it would be a thing of excellence. As it stands, Mull Historical Society's debut is an interesting, occasionally brilliant dose of modern British psychedelic pop.

Customer Reviews

Best of 2001

This debut from the Mull Historical Society was sent to me by a friend in London, where it was a "big thing". I couldn't believe how good it was. Listen to one of the previews here--"Barcode Bypass" (which was the hit in England), or "Public Service Announcer", which after all was the MHS's introduction to the world, or "Paper Houses", which is my personal favorite. See what you think. I love the combination of sincerity and baroque pop influence (a la Pet Sounds) that comes through on every track. Colin MacIntyre, who is, in essence, the MHS, comes from the Isle of Mull in Scotland. He has released a two more MHS CDs, The second, "Us" seems (IMHO) good but not special, and the third one, "This Is Hope", I have not hear enough to rate. But "Loss" is something extraordinary. An album for the ages. One of my desert island albums.


Formed: 2000 in Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Scotland's Mull Historical Society is singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Colin MacIntyre. He arrived onto the British music scene in 2000. Although the name is confusing MHS has always been a pseudo name for the solo artist MacIntyre, who hails from the Hebridean island of Mull. At first signed to U.K. independent Tugboat, MacIntyre got to work on cranking out some of his extensive bank of backlogged songs. The warmly received Barcode Bypass single was released later in the year, named...
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Loss, Mull Historical Society
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