America could never decipher the lyrical genius of Paddy McAloon. Although his band Prefab Sprout was able to venture several times onto the U.K. charts, McAloon's whispery voice and smart, sometimes vague lyrics often bewildered American radio programmers. Born on June 7, 1957 in Newcastle, England, McAloon formed Prefab Sprout in 1982; the group also included his brother Martin McAloon (bass), Neil Conti (drums), and Wendy Smith (guitar, vocals). Compared by some critics to Morrissey, McAloon has a calm, breathy voice that can register deep sorrow or profound joy whether he is talking or singing in his songs. McAloon's heartbreaking vocals on Prefab Sprout's "When Love Breaks Down" wooed listeners of new wave radio stations in 1985. Taken from the LP Steve McQueen (called Two Wheels Good in America), "When Love Breaks Down," along with "Appetite," introduced McAloon's distinctive croon and mature, insightful songwriting to an American audience. However, the love affair was brief; the eclectic, eccentric pop of Prefab Sprout's next album, From Langley Park to Memphis, left music fans outside of Europe confused. Even McAloon's sly jab at Bruce Springsteen, "Cars and Girls," was too subtle to generate much laughter in the United States. One of the most underrated lyricists of the '80s, McAloon continues to lead Prefab Sprout, not allowing any lack of commercial success or shifting musical trends to steer his artistic vision. McAloon's first solo album, I Trawl the Megahertz, was released in 2003, nearly five years after its songs had been written. ~ Michael Sutton, Rovi