Review | LIHITO “Air Quotes”

Anthos

LIHITO’s “Air Quotes” CD is a marvel on the composition side and an alluring and addictive affair on the vocal end that will keep you coming back for more and more.

LIHITO is voiced by Kent Ito.

Review

Anthos 2nd solo series -Air Quotes- LIHITO
Title: Anthos* 2nd solo series -Air Quotes- “LIHITO”
Label: AIЯRIDE RECORDS. / Movic
Release date: 05/10/2023
Genre: Jazz-pop/Space disco

Tracklist:

1 -  Lotus and Venus
2 - 一方恋

Track by track analysis:

1 – Lotus and Venus

A jazzy rhodes piano opens the curtains in style as the shuffling drums invite you to dance along.

LIHITO takes the stage in the Air Quotes solo digital single series with “Lotus and Venus”. With a comfortable tempo, this song is pure class and style, having love and desire as its concepts.

Its pacing feels like LIHITO is shuffling throughout the dancefloor towards you, trying to grab your attention with his vocals. 

When the chorus kicks in, it’s almost as if the lights go out in the room and a mirror ball comes down. If the verses were fancy, now imagine how the build-up and then the climax to this song is.

Kent Ito brings groovy vocals with R&B riffing here and there being complimented by a funky guitar and a bouncy bassline that will make you dance in no time.

If I was in love with the instrumental, as soon as Kent Ito takes over and starts singing, I’m head over heels for this song. The clarity in his vocals, how easily he tackles all the tricky crescendos with riffing, those fancy R&B riffing details to his performance, even down to the energy he brings to his performance. Kent Ito dazzles in this performance.

2 – 一方恋 (Ichihouren)

Ichihouren” completes the duo of tracks dedicated to love and desire for LIHITO. The intro is a treat to synthwave fans, which is to say, I’m already all over this song. 

The vocals echo in the soundscape as big synths take over. The soundstage is wide for this track, with a lot happening in front and around you. But fear not, the instrumental is far from being crowded. There is clarity in all the elements in this instrumental, from those tight hi-hats to the clap track, the atmospheric synths, the polysynths, and the deep bassline. Everything is clear.

And yes, elements are playing around with your spatial awareness within the song. Synths are shifting from your left to your right headphones in a smooth motion that adds a 3D soundstage to this song. 

Talk about dreamy and impressive! The bridge had me stop this review for a bit as I was caught by surprise by how fancy the atmospheric synths are in there. 

This slow-paced synthwave sound is a first in the Hana-Doll* franchise but after listening to this take on the genre, I honestly want more and more.

As far as who is in front of you… LIHITO is front and center, close to you despite the wide and neverending soundscape in which you are for “Ippou Koi”. This is a surprisingly clean and clear vocal mixing despite how dirty the bassline is and how deep the lead synth melody is.

The vocals are equally dreamy however with an underlying allure that I was not expecting coming from LIHITO. You really can’t take your eyes – and ears – off of him and this hypnotic performance.

When “Ichihouren” wraps up, you’re wondering about who fell in love with whom. I certainly feel like the song was all about you however you end up completely smitten by LIHITO’s performance.

Stylish and mature performance wrapping up on a perfect note what is – currently – the best entry in the Air Quotes digital single series.


Final considerations

LIHITO arrives to steal the show for me. I was not expecting him to dive into love and desire and deliver a mature, stylish, and alluring set of songs.

Bringing Zakbee as the composer alongside KAN TAKAHIRO for both songs ended up leading to two performances that are technical, ridiculously fancy, and melodic while delivering two addictive and stylish instrumentals.

Lotus and Venus” is jazzy with a hint of funk and chillout at its core whereas “Ichihouren” is all about a downtempo brand of synthwave that was unheard in the Hana-Doll* franchise.

Both songs are dancefloor bangers with a quality in the instrumentals that seals it once again for me: when Zakbee and KAN TAKAHIRO work with Anthos*, the group and its members will get a set of memorable songs.

And when you pair a top composer/lyricist with a stellar singer (who’s actually a talented singer-songwriter) such as Kent Ito, you can only get something mesmerizing.

Well, both “Lotus and Venus” and “Ichihouren” have fancy instrumentals that are met with technical performances by Kent Ito. 

From the R&B riffing in the leading track to the sweet falsetto in “Ichihouren”, Ito was always leading the way confidently, with a magnetic energy that will make it hard for you to not want to look and hear him.

I know for sure that I was ensnared from the first seconds of “Lotus and Venus”. 

“Ichihouren” arrived and I was floored as it mixed so many of my favorite things in the same place: synthwave, a punchy bassline, a classy + mature vibe, Zakbee’s touch of genius in the composition, and Kent Ito’s sweet vocals.

I couldn’t ask for a better way to wrap up this album. 

Safe to say that this LIHITO’s “Air Quotes” CD is, undeniably the best entry so far in the series. A marvel on the composition side and an alluring and addictive affair on the vocal end that will keep you coming for more and more.

What is Hana-Doll*?

Hana-Doll* is an idol project created by Movic (TSUKIPRO, VAZZROCK, Tsukiuta, etc.). Anthos* and Loulou*di are groups signed to the fictional talent agency Amagiri Production.

All CDs in this franchise include drama tracks and songs by each group.

Anthos* consists of Kent ItoWataru KomadaToshiki MasudaShunichi TokiDaiki HamanoSeiichiro Yamashita, and Shun Horie.

Loulou*di consists of Toshiyuki ToyonagaShunsuke Takeuchi, and Daiki Yamashita.


Air Quotes” is available for streaming on Spotify.


Do not support piracy. Remember to support Anthos* by streaming via official outlets.

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Vanessa Silva
Vanessa Silvahttps://www.handthatfeedshq.com
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder, content creator, and music reviewer. Basically, the only person managing everything at The Hand That Feeds HQ. Stumbling upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" in 2011 was the start of this journey. If music is thought-provoking or deep, you may find her writing almost essays (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). She's the producer and host of the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Lotus and Venus
一方恋 (Ichihouren)

SUMMARY

LIHITO arrives to steal the show for me. I was not expecting him to dive into love and desire and deliver a mature, stylish, and alluring set of songs. Bringing Zakbee as the composer alongside KAN TAKAHIRO for both songs ended up leading to two performances that are technical, ridiculously fancy, and melodic while delivering two addictive and stylish instrumentals. Safe to say that this LIHITO’s “Air Quotes” CD is, undeniably the best entry so far in the series. A marvel on the composition side and an alluring and addictive affair on the vocal end that will keep you coming for more and more.

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LIHITO arrives to steal the show for me. I was not expecting him to dive into love and desire and deliver a mature, stylish, and alluring set of songs. Bringing Zakbee as the composer alongside KAN TAKAHIRO for both songs ended up leading to two performances that are technical, ridiculously fancy, and melodic while delivering two addictive and stylish instrumentals. Safe to say that this LIHITO’s “Air Quotes” CD is, undeniably the best entry so far in the series. A marvel on the composition side and an alluring and addictive affair on the vocal end that will keep you coming for more and more.Review | LIHITO "Air Quotes"