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***MASAKI BATOH's solo career continues to rise up with his 5th solo album, and second in the last two years, Smile Jesus Loves YOU. As long time listeners of GHOST and THE SILENCE are well aware, Batoh’s music is of the world and for the world... it exists as part of the conundrum of the world, for us to hear and form thought or feeling. We have no way of knowing it, other than to listen. The defiance of a fixed notion in Batoh’s world and music is made clear, as with the ambiguities of last year’s mortality meditation Nowhere, by the title of his new album. This shouldn’t be taken at face value. It might be a politically bitter statement. It might not be political at all, in this time of insane corrupt leaders who clearly believe in nothing except what they can use. It is a question for anyone who believes, or doesn’t believe. Listeners must come up with their own understanding, based on their own sentiment and where they find themselves in their evolving form. Following the mostly solitary activity of making Nowhere, Batoh has invited several guests to play with him for parts of Smile Jesus Loves YOU. Like family members, collaborators from The Silence and Ghost make guest appearances, including, for two songs, ex-Ghost and legendary percussionist HIROYUKI USUI (FUSHITSUSHA). For the journey of this new album, Batoh takes us a great distance, singing in Japanese, English, Spanish and Latin, including an amazing cover of one of his heroes, Atahualpa Yupanqui, with lyrics translated from Spanish to Japanese, giving them a haiku-like feeling. Batoh plays a variety of stringed instruments throughout, as well as mellotron and shanai, supported at times by the playing of others on flute, piano, lap steel, saxophone, contra bass and drums.