Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Not every battle leaves scars on the outside, the visible marks of having been on the wrong side of the swords cutting edge, the evidence of having gone to war with life and only realising at towards the bitter end that life has an experienced ally in Time and neither of them give any quarter or sympathy as they open your skin with the thick blade and let the scar tissue form.
The Silent Battles, the ones that cut the skin from underneath, those are the ones in which the hero stands tall because nobody knows that you have been striving to deflect the swords, the arrows and the bullets; nobody sees the scars forming so they just always assume that you are doing well, that the battle has not yet found you.
Michael Rattray’s Silent Battles E.P. is one that on the surface shows no signs of life having ever taken a put shot at this fantastic musician, however dig deeper, find the empathy needed to hear beyond the surface and the skin and the beauty of the music bleeds through in time with the lyrical observations like expensive red wine being poured slowly from the open neck and into the half full glass beneath. It is a glass that has been cut and adorned with care, the flow steady and to the point and in the end is one that you cannot but help raise in salute to the master behind the thought.
In the five tracks, Malibu, Little Threads, Worry, Peace of Mind and One Million Mangos, Michael Rattray delivers a set of songs that are not only dripping in the cool whimsy but also have the hidden charm of absolute expression, the imagery, especially on Worry and One Million Mangos is exquisite. They find a way to conjure up sentiment, of personal attachment to the plight of the musician that can only in the end change your outlook on such matters to which some might find mundane, yet are deep down more important; the scars on the inside hurt far more than those in which the eyes can see.
A very beautiful E.P., Silent Battles is one we can all identify with.
Ian D. Hall