SOHN – Rennen

RiYL: James Blake, Kwabs, Rhye
Recommended Tracks: "Signal," "Rennen," "Conrad"

SOHN Rennen album cover

For his sophomore album release, SOHN, improves in every way compared to his first album. His production has become more crisp, and clean. He expresses feelings of melancholy, and remorse throughout the project, and does so through his voice as well as his production. Rennen shows a clear maturation in SOHN’s style and a sense of potential for the artist.

The production on this album features rather simple instrumentation, with only a few layers in each song. Despite this, it still grabs the listener’s attention, and SOHN manages to keep it interesting with a lot of rhythm variations. Every note sounds meticulously placed, and overall the whole album sounds clean and feels modern.

The simple beats of this album allow SOHN’s vocals to really shine through. His vocal range has improved a lot since his last project, and he’s able to evoke an incredible amount of emotion. SOHN’s songwriting features some very powerful lines, such as “The universe/Is tryna tell me to let go,” on the title-track “Rennen”. On “Proof”, he expresses remorse, stating “And I can’t do this to the one I love/I hope I can go on/I hope I can prove myself wrong,” detailing having to unwillingly let go of a lover. Sorrow is prevalent throughout the album, and it’s not until the last two tracks of the album that the mood of the album begins to shift to be more optimistic, yet cautious, sort of like seeing a light at the end of a tunnel.

Despite the serious nature of this album, there are still a couple energetic tracks, such as “Hard Liquor”, and “Conrad”, the first two tracks of the album. They still contain a serious message, but they progress quicker than the rest of the album in both timbre and tempo. The contrast is a tasteful decision, placing the tracks among a variety of melancholy, and works overall on the album. Clocking in at around 37 minutes on 10 tracks, SOHN is able to show off his abilities in a very concise manner. It’s very cohesive, and sounds carefully crafted, as any good album should.

Rennen is a seemingly simple album with a lot of emotion, and depth. The production although simple, is mature, and allows SOHN’s voice to shine through. It also adequately sets the tone for each song, establishing a mood before SOHN’s voice takes over and reinforces it. His stray toward pop within the realm of electronic is an evident but conscious decision as displayed by Rennen, but it’s simplicity and mid-depth yearns for something more, despite it’s strengths.

SOHN - Rennen
sohn-rennenThe album is a simple yet cooly crafted collection of tracks, weigh ing in just a little too short. The emotion and style put forth behind <i>Rennen</i> is expertly done and unabashedly SOHN, but the extrapolation falls behind sooner than expected, maybe the best possible problem for a good sophomore album.