Review | Anthos* “Meet”

Anthos*Meet” is the start of a new journey for the group while still carrying over a lot of momentum from a stellar 2020.

Hana-Doll* is an idol project created by movic (TSUKIPRO, VAZZROCK, Tsukiuta, etc). 7 idols are part of Anthos, group signed to the fictional talent agency Amagiri Production.

Anthos* is comprised of Kento Ito, Wataru Komada, Toshiki Masuda, Shunichi TokiDaiki Hamano, Seiichiro Yamashita, and Shun Horie.


Title: INCOMPLICA:IU~Meet~
Label: Movic 
Release date: 26/03/2021 
Genre: Electronica/Tropical Pop

Tracklist:

1 - Project Archive: A 2-1
2 - Project Archive: A 2-2
3 - Project Archive: A 2-3
4 - Project Archive: A 2-4
5 - Project Archive: A 2-5
6 - Flash Point
7 - Shine On

Track by track analysis:

6 – Flash Point

Flash Point” brings a tight progressive beat with influences of Latin (the beat progression) and Middle Eastern (the wind instruments) music in the first verse and chorus sections.

I find the intro to be quite messy. That introduction was not really necessary and having multiple voices at the same time saying different things within the first 3 seconds of the song is a bit too much in my opinion.

Thankfully, things get better, picking up from that point and embracing Anthos* trademark washy danceable sound.

The 1st pre-chorus slows down quite a bit, building up tension towards the chorus.

There’s a difference in tone between the verses in this song. For example, the 2nd verse is dark and more intense than the 1st, with a dubstep beat taking over.

The chorus is the culmination of that unique beat with powerful synth stabs that give it a loungy vibe. As far as EDM songs with Latin + Middle Eastern influences go, this is the most tasteful and enjoyable take.

The bridge tones things down, with synths going quiet, stripping itself of its beat to give way for Anthos*’ vocals.

The vocals are entertaining however there was nothing out of extraordinary coming from the group like in previous songs.

The highlight is, of course, the new member SETSUNA, voiced by Shun Horie that is here delivering quite the crystal clear and delicate performance, an interesting contrast with the rest of the group that lacks that edge.

7 – Shine On

Almost like ripples in the water, synth stabs hit the wide, summery soundscape created for “Shine On”.

There’s a loungy edge to this song, with the verses having a laidback feel to them and the chorus progressing in a rather contained fashion, keeping the beat pretty tight to the synths.

This contrast between the open soundscape in the verses, with elements echoing in the background, and the closed soundscape in the chorus, with everything being deployed closed to the listener is a really good touch.

When it comes to vocal performances, “Shine On” is really the song to impress.

With a toned-down instrumental, the path is open for Anthos*’ members to dazzle you with their harmonies, ethereal high notes, and gentle mid-tones or even their fancy rap.

Shunichi Toki, Shun Horie, Kento Ito, and Toshiki Masuda shine in this song, being the core to this song’s ethereal vibe.

Wataru Komada, Seiichiro Yamashita, and Daiki Hamano add a lot of depth and reinforce the core of the group’s performance.

This is a complete performance from instrumental to the vocals, one of Anthos*’ best songs to date.

Final considerations

Anthos* made their comeback rebranded and with a new member and what ensues is the same old quality of theirs with another top vocal within the group, finally properly covering the high tenor range.

Flash Point” is not really the group’s best song and that’s not because of the vocals per se but of the way the instrumental was composed and later how the vocals were mixed into it.

No matter how many times I listen to this song, the intro continues to sound messy and overcrowded.

Given how the first seconds into a song are more than enough for people to like or instantly dislike a song, I don’t know why the focus was on making a mess of it. Thankfully the rest of the song more than made it worth going through that confusing intro.

Once again, one of Anthos*’ strengths is the fact that their sound is refreshing and, no matter the time of the year, they always exude a summery and loungy vibe that you’ll want to lose yourself in. In this song, it’s no different.

I’m particularly fond of the way the Latin and Middle Eastern elements were fit into the song, avoiding going the generic approach and making those obnoxious – like most popular music has managed to do – which is a massive plus in my books.

Shine On” is the very definition of an ethereal loungy song. It sounds like a late afternoon facing the sea and has the comfort and intimacy that you’d get while hanging out on a rooftop bar or loungy.

The imagery is spot-on in the soundscape created with a tighter and simplistic take on EDM riding on a comfortable downtempo beat.

What many fans were excited for was SETSUNA’s debut with the group. How would he fit in? What would he be in charge of? How would he sound?

Well, Shun Horie is an absolute masterclass right from the start.

He arrives to be a main vocal, covering the higher range alongside Shunichi Toki and Kento Ito and dabbling into his mid-tones to support Toshiki Masuda, all this still in the main vocals department.

He brought to both songs beautiful, crystal clear high notes and raspy mid-tones (these are noticeable in the verses of “Shine On”).

In this single, Seiichiro Yamashita and Daiki Hamano delivered striking performances. They are in charge of rap, with Hamano covering as well those bass notes sections, adding a lot of muscle to Anthos* performances.

Although my initial focus when reviewing music is on paying attention first to the main vocals and then to the rest of the group, I found it interesting that Yamashita and Hamano were standing out more than the main core of the group, with smooth ad-libs and a lot of flair in their performances.

All in all, Anthos*Meet” is the start of a new journey for the group – now with a 7-piece lineup -, carrying over from a stellar 2020. Their music is still unique, their loungy vibe is second to none.

If you haven’t checked this entry in Anthos* repertoire, I thoroughly welcome you to do so and, perhaps, add “Shine On” to a playlist ahead of summer.


Meet is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Flash Point
Shine On
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Also, the only person managing everything The Hand That Feeds HQ related. In 2011, I stumbled upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus". Since then I have been writing about male seiyuu music. You may find me writing almost essays whenever music is really good (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). I also host the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).

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