Album Review: Renard – Waking Up In A Different World


Waking Up In a Different World

Metropolis Records

Release date: October 9, 2020

Waking Up In A Different World is the debut album of Renard, which was founded by Markus Reinhardt, one of the two members of the German synthpop band Wolfsheim. In order to bring this project to life he surrounded himself with a lot of talented artists and producers, so don’t be surprise that almost every track is interpreted by a different singer.

We can distinguish two kind of track on this album. Those with a strong electro musical structure, which lives in symbiosis with the voice of the singer. It is the case of Travel In Time, featuring Pascal Finkenauer, the first single of this album that we discovered at the end of August. The listening of this first extract was such a pleasure and set the bar and expectations very high. This very good synthpop track display a melancholic atmosphere that remind us of Wolfsheim, but with a more modern feel. The Meissen Figurine and Junkyards, both featuring folk singer Joseh, offer for the first track good electro rhythms and for the second one a slower and softer pace. With Heresy we quickly recognized the distinctive voice of Sarah Blackwood (Client). The electro rhythm is raw and reach a good balance. The second single Hotel was released at the beginning of October and offered us a very good track interpreted by Marian Gold, singer of Alphaville. Melancholic vibes are present, however the voice of Marian Gold feel a bit worn-out. My Heart’s Still Shaking, featuting Eliza Hiscox, display a marked electro which cohabits well with the vocals. The last song called Intelligent Design gently closes this album with an instrumental track.

Unfortunately we also have on this album tracks were the vocalist takes up all the space and where the music is relegated to the background. This is where it is a bit disappointing, because we are here to listen to Markus Reinhardt new project and not for the vocalist that should accompany more than carry the track. It is the case with Restless, featuring Marietta Fafouti. This track is adding a more traditional band structure, but the power of the voice covers the musical structure. Damn Happy, which is interpreted by Marian Gold, also seems to want to emphasize the voice more than the rhythms.

Waking Up In A Different World offers several excellent and well balanced tracks. However, some other feel like they were composed primarily to showcase the vocalist. As a consequence the musical creativity seems restrained and create a lack of uniformity, as it is hard to find what connects all these tracks. It is a shame when we see what Markus Reinhardt is capable of, notably with Travel In Time.


  • The Meissen Figurine (feat. Joseh) (04:02)
  • Restless (feat. Marietta Fafouti) (03:58)
  • Travel In Time (feat. Pascal Finkenauer) (03:24)
  • Heresy (feat. Sarah Blackwood) (03:18)
  • Hotel (feat. Marian Gold) (5:00)
  • My Heart’s Still Shaking (feat. Eliza Hiscox) (04:14)
  • Damn Happy (feat. Marian Gold) (03:00)
  • Junkyards (feat. Joseh) (04:36)
  • Intelligent Design (04:12)

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