I Trawl the Megahertz

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I Trawl the Megahertz
Studio album by Paddy McAloon
Released 27 May 2003
Recorded 1999-2002
Genre Classical, Ambient, Chamber pop
Length 52:29
Label Liberty Records
Producer Paddy McAloon

I Trawl the Megahertz (stylised as i trawl the MEGAHERTZ) is a 2003 album by English singer-songwriter Paddy McAloon.

The debut solo album from McAloon, it marks a notable stylistic change from his work with Prefab Sprout, the act he is best known for. The album is a largely instrumental piece with the only track to have McAloon provide vocals being the seventh, Sleeping Rough.

Genesis and concept[edit]

Following the detachment of both retinas in quick succession, possibly due to congenital factors, McAloon was left nearly blind for some time.[1] Unable to read or work in his normal way, McAloon took to listening to late night radio talk shows and documentaries.[2] Inspired by what he heard McAloon uses the source material to create what he describes as a radio play or a short movie. The title track features dialogue found on the radio, along with words created by McAloon whilst "I am 49" features dialogue from various TV and radio programmes.

The album was initially created at his home on computer before it was recorded using 'real' strings. The voice on the title track is that of an American commodities broker based in London, Yvonne Connors, who recorded her contribution between 6.15pm and 8.45pm in room 551 of The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London, on October 25, 1999.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link

Critical reception concentrated on the stylistic change of the album compared to his earlier work. However, reviewers were generally favourable.

In the year end polls for 2003's albums of the year it featured at #22 in Uncut Magazine and #50 in Mojo.

In 2005 "I Trawl the Megahertz" was featured in a Mojo list of the top 50 'most out there' albums.[4] Mojo later called it an "unlikely orch-pop masterpiece."[5]

Track listing[edit]

  1. I Trawl the Megahertz - 22'06
  2. Esprit de Corps - 4'51
  3. Fall from Grace - 3'38
  4. We Were Poor... - 4'49
  5. Orchid 7 - 4'20
  6. I'm 49 - 3'48
  7. Sleeping Rough - 3'34
  8. Ineffable - 2'42
  9. ...But We Were Happy - 3'48


  1. ^ [1] The Independent
  2. ^ BBC Radio Interview with McAloon Archive.org
  3. ^ Prefab Sprout Liner Notes
  4. ^ Mojo #126, March 2005
  5. ^ [2] Mojo Magazine