From the darker melodies in I know,Who I am to the softest vibes in Antholic, Anthos made sure to mark you with their new album, For….
Hana-Doll* is an idol project created by movic (TSUKIPRO, VAZZROCK, Tsukiuta, etc). 6 idols are part of Anthos, group signed to the fictional talent agency Amagiri Production.
Anthos is comprised of Daiki Hamano, Kento Ito, Wataru Komada, Toshiki Masuda, Shunichi Toki and Seiichiro Yamashita.
Title: Hana Doll*1st season～Flowering～ Volume 5 [For...] Label: Movic Release date: 26/06/2020 Genre: Electronica/Tropical Pop
1 - Project Archive1-21 (Drama) 2 - Project Archive1-22 (Drama) 3 - Project Archive1-23 (Drama) 4 - Project Archive1-24 (Drama) 5 - Project Archive1-25 (Drama) 6 - I know,Who I am (Anthos Song) 7 - Antholic (Anthos Song)
Track by track analysis:
6 – I know,Who I am
Loud synths, trap orchestral hits and a slight – yet barely noticeable – touch of Middle Eastern instrumentalization make the honors for I know, Who I am.
With a massive intro, this song really tones down for the verses, muffling everything else and leaving the group with a dark, suffocating bass sound, trap orchestral hits and a clear piano melody making sure that your attention is all on Anthos.
And truth is, the instrumental is that good. Next thing you know, the song is already in the explosive chorus.
I especially enjoyed the melodies in the chorus, with Shunichi Toki easily standing out from the group with his harmonies filled with flourishes – his intro ad-lib with that Middle Eastern touch gave me Growth vibes.
Toshiki Masuda and Kento Ito also stand out with their vibrato and smooth mid-to-low toned notes, adding a power and flair to the chorus that is impossible to not feel drawn into.
It is also worth noting that Wataru Komada, Daiki Hamano and Seiichiro Yamashita got much more lines this time around, balancing out the performance side of things while elevating the group’s performance.
The chorus is dark and powerful, bringing electric guitar riffs into the electronica-heavy sound. However, that is not the only highlight in this track as Anthos feature a rather fancy outro, shedding a different light over electronica.
I know, Who I am is a song like no other. Unique, tantalizing and tasteful in its exploration of electronica.
7 – Antholic
Things change around, as Anthos go for a charming and summery performance in Antholic.
Dedicated to their fanbase – of the same name -, Antholic is a song that explores tropical melodies but, instead of going all out with a lo-fi, chillout sound, we get a proper pop sound – a first for this talented group.
The soundscape for this track is vast, with the piano giving the sensation of the listener being in a wide space listening to this track.
Antholic enlisted the help of funky guitar riffs, a tropical synth line, distant piano melodies and a simple, bass-drum-driven beat to create this dreamy, sweet and laidback track.
The verses rely on atmospheric synths and nothing much, putting the focus on the vocals, another great point in this release.
Anthos shared their lines in equal parts, giving the spotlight to every single member to thank their fans for the support and love throughout their first year in the industry.
Anthos keep being the fresh 2D idol unit we all love to listen to, aren’t they?
I have been enjoying the consistency as well as how innovative the group aims to be with each release. From the concepts – that range from darker, existential ones, to softer, fluffer ones -, to their ever-evolving sound, a big part of what they are as a group, they keep delivering new things.
It is impressive how this group, with 5 albums released (2 songs per album though) have managed to keep exploring the limits of experimental music, especially electronica and its various subgenres, and not fall in that trap that most projects do: repeating what was successful.
The producers for Anthos’ music – too many to name, but all deeply appreciated – really embraced experimentalism and every entry, even within a release – is nothing like the other.
This results in:
- Songs that fit any mood or vibe (prepare your summer playlists)
- Setting this group further apart from other groups in 2D idol projects
Anthos however, keep exploring tropical dance music.
While that is not necessarily a prejudicial thing – given how the group does so in a tasteful way -, it is starting to form a pattern, one that I hope won’t stick for the long run, otherwise the group will end up losing their unique edge.
Other than that, I know, Who I am reminds me a lot of S.T.O.P, being very keen on its trap elements to propel the song into darker, stiffening territory that, with the help of a masterful work on the bass end and solid atmospheric synths, created a pretty unique soundscape.
Antholic is not a track that I would deliberately look for in an album, as I am not a big fan of fluffier tracks, however as much as I wasn’t fond of the track on a first listen, I found myself enjoying it by the 2nd time I listened to it.
More than the message hitting me – I am but a mere casual fan of the project, only following the music – it was the way the tropical elements were kept to a minimum and blended in a tasteful pop sound that helped making it easier to listen to.
All in all, Anthos’ For… is a massive release.
Darker and softer themes collide, creating a release of contrasts. While this is something that usually marks their music, this time around the group was pretty obvious about being contrasting and, at no time, did it sound out of place like I first predicted it’d go – which is good.
If that wasn’t enough, the group distributed their lines a bit more evenly, giving equal spotlight to every single member instead of the core 3 main vocals (Shunichi Toki, Kento Ito and Toshiki Masuda) so you’re in for a treat.
Hana Doll*1st season～Flowering～ Volume 5 [For…] is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.