Masaki Batoh: Smile Jesus Loves You CD
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.
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.
The songs expand amoebically, with music styles of the world shifting and merging to form their whole. Through phases of dark and light, including some new musical discoveries in Batoh's world, we travel through the multipart epic title track to salvation. This world is a difficult place, whether or not the gods will come to save us, but there is a happy ending for us if we accept and make it so.