The musical talents of Raychell…

RAYCHELL’s debut album release via Avex, L>R serves up a collection of tunes that demonstrate the ability of the soulful songstress to embrace a broad variety of styles. From wistful piano-led ballads to edgy electropop numbers and a selection of R&B along the way.

The album is also the culmination of a slightly circuitous route through the music industry for Raychell. Originally debuting under the name of LAY, she released her debut single ‘Kono ai de aruyouni’ in 2010 which was followed by double single release ‘Smiling’/’Flower’ (the former featuring as the end theme for the anime version of Tamagotchi).

Relaunching herself as Raychell has now resulted in the album L>R (‘Lay to Raychell’, we see what you did there…) which sees her collaborating with Avex songwriter Hiroaki Hayama (formerly of D-LOOP and also worked with the likes of w-inds and Namie Amuro).

L>R features Raychell’s sultry vocals on a series of compelling tunes, including the airy strings of ‘Coils Of Light’ – also used as the theme song for Capcom game release Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen (a revamped reissue of 2012 release Dragon’s Dogma).

Raychell also contributed a variety of songs for recent science fiction action film Travelers: Dimension Police, which also feature on L>R. The film, directed by Koichi Sakamoto, stars Nao Nagasawa and Ayumi Kinoshite in a story about dimensional police officer Ai who crosses dimensions to a parallel world in a bid to hunt down criminal outfit DOUBT and comes face to face with former partner Yui who appears to be working for DOUBT.

‘FACE FREE’, which serves as the theme song for the film, presents an engaging slice of grungy electronic pop – a theme followed up by the rhythmic beats of ‘EARTH BEAT’ and the percussive edginess of ‘Never EVER’. Meanwhile ‘Pray To The Moon’ delivers a much more restrained and subtle piano piece which perfectly showcases Raychell’s vocal talents (and also demonstrates that she’s just as comfortable singing in English as Japanese).

If there’s a standout track on the album then ‘Feel’ (also culled from the Travelers soundtrack) is a good contender with its insistent electronic rhythms and electropop sensibility.

The sophistication of ‘LOVE U’ takes us into Pop/R&B territory on a tune that’s all lounge style and atmosphere. It’s a theme that’s also carried over for the last track ‘Kono ai de aruyouni’ which, as Raychell’s original debut single as LAY, is a fitting end for the album.

L>R has a polished production backing up a smooth collection of songs and as a debut it’s a fine introduction to the obvious talents of Raychell.

L>R is released via Avex Rhythm Zone and is available from 24th April 2013 as CD and CD + DVD (includes PV for ‘FACE FREE’, ‘Flower’, “’Kono ai de aruyouni’ and Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen promo) from selected online store such as Yes Asia and CD Japan as well as for download at iTunes.