Okay, here’s a tip: As a fluent German speaker, I understand their lyrics. I also know that most of the translations you find online are dreadful. Rammstein uses a highly idiomatic language from Berlin, and it’s rather colorful. If you don’t get it, it’s hard to translate. “Du Hast” means “You Have”. The song, however, has to do with rejection. Hence, “You Hate”. Sehnsucht means “longing”, and that’s what this album is all about.
Sehnsucht is Rammstein’s first “commercial” album. It lyrics are painful, and for the most part about, well, “sehnsucht”. The rhythms are a blend of punk, techno, heavy metal, and industrial. There’s a primal feel to all of their music, and this album is certainly a good example of it.
One reviewer said it’s repetative. So what? So is Phillip Glass. So is Iron Maiden. The Beatles had trouble getting away from a I-IV-V-I progression. Rammstein is doing it for effect. This is very sexual music, and the rhythms reflect that. (If you understood the German, and Berlin idioms, it’s a whole lot easier to pick this up.)
Rammstein’s lyrics are no worse, and are probably better, than most metal bands floating around the world today. “Du Hast” hit the airwaves the same time as Korn’s “adidas”, the lyrics of which are as juvenile as they get.
Rammstein is melodic, dark, primal, and, sometimes very witty. They mask quite a few things in ironies, a literary device the Germans haven’t forgotten. Check out this album, and then go pick up the other ones.