To many Prefab Sprout is Paddy McAloon; the driving force, songwriter, guitarist and predominant singer in the band. But 'I Trawl The MEGAHERTZ' is a first shift away from the band concept. Instead he uses an orchestra. This is an area McAloon has dabbled in before, resulting in the glorious 'Hey Manhattan!' and 'Nightingales' singles plus the sumptuous arrangements on 1997's 'Andromeda Heights' album. This time, however, McAloon's distinctive vocals feature only once and even then only briefly. Unquestionably the highlight of this first "solo" album is the title track; a sprawling Debussy-inspired classical piece, laden with gorgeous string arrangements and topped off with narration from the hitherto unknown Yvonne Connors. The words are based on radio talk shows which became something of an enforced hobby for McAloon whilst he underwent eye surgery; his reading and writing obviously hindered to a large extent. Connors delivers the lines so well that when phrases like "Your Daddy loves you very much; he just doesn't want to live with us anymore" are spoken - set against a wash of supreme arrangement - the effect is genuinely heartbreaking. It's no surprise, therefore, that the remaining eight - considerably shorter - tracks have no way near the same effect. Granted, 'Espirit De Corps' maintains a wonderful almost-Disneyesque feel but pieces like 'We Were Poor...' and 'Fall From Grace' keep a seamless flow together but pass by pleasantly and '49' is a polite imitation of the lead-off track. For 20 blissful minutes though, McAloon is inspired.