Ed Harcourt has long been an under-appreciated commodity in the UK. Ed writes precisely the kind of 90s-inflected chamber pop that more successful mainstream waders like Hozier, KT Tunstall and Ryan Adams have been peddling for years. But Ed, Mercury nomination aside, sits quietly in the wings, tossing out gems like Back To The Woods every few years. He's been tainted with the misguided criticism that he is meant to be some kind of British Tom Waits - a literal contradiction in terms when you're talking about the most American of all songwriters. Ed’s ours; he couldn’t be from anywhere else. He’s built himself a house and is determined to live in it, regardless of fashion.

Isaac Gracie, on the other hand, does not seem to belong to any particular time or place. His debut is squarely aimed at an audience who can get on board with late career Snow Patrol and Razorlight, but for whom Paolo Nutini is perhaps a touch too unpredictable. Gracie is a startlingly good-looking performer (think a male version of Chloë Sevigny) whose breakthrough track Last Words apparently caused a bidding war between major labels a couple of years ago. His subsequent debut is impeccably tailored for Radio 2 listeners who like their singer songwriters heavily made up in beige.

The previously mentioned Last Words provides the template for much that follows, with obvious call backs to other radio friendly pop indie: Running On Empty is Ryan Adams fronting the Killers; which is fine, if you're Ryan Adams. Telescope is Cat Power's The Greatest. Only, you know... it isn't.

The production makes everything sound suitably epic and heart-strained, but tends to overwhelm its strongest suit – Gracie’s voice. He’s been unfairly compared to Jeff Buckley, which brings a whole tour bus-full of baggage which he can’t possibly live up to. Buckley reached for and often achieved genius. Gracie has a nice, lilting voice and a collection of decent songs.

The highlights emerge in the album's later stages, where the singer withdraws a little from the identikit, trimmed production of tracks like That Was Then and the album gives his voice a bit of space to stretch out. When You Go is perfectly fine; a smooth little country-lite ballad with the best lyrics on the record. There's nothing original here, but the chorus and the beefed up second verse are sweet.

Leaving out a risible Pete Doherty-style funeral march (The Death of You & I) with some awful couplets; 'Running into one another / outside a cafe in Paris (pronounced to rhyme with Gary) / you say you're living with your brother / because he lets you stay rent free', the album’s only ambition seems to be to squeeze its artist into an already packed market position.

Without a standout single, and even with the considerable resources of a major label behind him, it’s not clear how successful an exercise that will prove to be.