Ineffably Brilliant

Readers of this blog will know that Pet Sounds is my all-time favorite album by anyone, ever – I would love to find a piece of music that I like even more, but I suspect that it won’t happen in my lifetime.

But if I was asked to name my second favorite record, it would indeed be something released many years after Pet Sounds. And that record would be I Trawl The Megahertz by Paddy McAloon.

“I trawl the whattie by who-on-earth” you may say. Well, Paddy McAloon is the leading light of Prefab Sprout, a group that has seen much love on these pages. And I Trawl The Megahertz is his first, and so far only, solo album, released in 2003.

The history of the making of this record is as intriguing as many of the greatest albums- having been forced out of the public eye by threats to both his sight and hearing, Paddy made this record that was daring, uncommercial and brilliant.

The bald facts are that the record contains the title track, a 23 minute piece with no singing, but spoken words by a lady, Yvonne Connors, followed by eight pieces of music, of which six are instrumental, one has noises and excerpts from the radio, and only one features vocals from McAloon.¬† With McAloon’s vocals one of the key features of a Sprout record, this seems underwhelming, but in fact everything works pretty well.

It’s hard to describe everything that’s happening here in a 400 word review but here’s an attempt: The title track is simultaneously beautiful, devastating and hopeful-the spoken words themselves would make¬† tremendous poetry but when added to the aching melody, contrive to make probably the best extended piece in popular music. Fall From Grace is majestically wonderful, I’m 49 (the one with the squeaky radio bits) will make you cry, Sleeping Rough (Paddy’s only vocal) is poignant and Ineffable paints a more wonderful musical frame than any words could describe.

‘Til I Die may be the best Brian Wilson musical counterpart, but I would encourage anyone who cares for music to check this wonderful record out. (Amazon page here). Anyone who has ever had a broken or yearning heart should understand this record and have it high up amongst their personal favorites.

2 Responses to “Ineffably Brilliant”

  1. Juan says:

    Second favorite sounds like big deal, so I have listened to it on YouTube and WOW… can’t wait to buy the cd and play this on my hi-fi. Many thanks!

  2. Johnd526 says:

    This is a great blog, would you be involved in doing an interview about how you created it? If so email me! ggkgcfffgggb

Leave a Reply