With a few years since his debut album, SOHN has finally returned with his sophomore album Rennen, German for “run,” and a contradiction between the title and pace of the album while acting additionally perhaps as a call for the need of stopping for reflection. After the strong success of his first album, Tremors, Rennen tops even that as SOHN explores further with his music with the addition of his own voice.
“Hard Liquor” opens with just a steady drum cadence to accompany the layered lyrics, allowing them to fully fill up the space. There are highs and lows of how heavy the electronic aspect becomes, but there is always a consistent human quality to the music which carries through for the next few songs of “Conrad” and “Signal.” About a third through the album the dynamic shifts slightly and reminds listeners that Rennen draws on EDM roots, and synthetic riffs make more of an appearance, yet at the same time, the music becomes barer; the title track is a prime example of this. For the last third, there remains a strong showing of the electronic elements of the album.
Overall, the lyrics on Rennen are what takes this album above the level of where Tremors was. Through the lyrics, the music is able to be taken through an exploration of the complexities of love, both in having it and when it is lost. With that journey taken by the lyrics, the actual sound of the album follows its own path of slowly opening itself up of naturally adding on layers of the electronic sounds without ever throwing itself at the listener. Nothing is ever heavy or technical which opens the lyrics up to emotionally deepening themselves. This album could have been more synthetic but the choice was made to allow the more human elements carry the weight and that is what has set Rennen up as a success.