Jak De Preister is one of the most formidable Afrikaans artists in the country and this year, he celebrates his 15th anniversary in the music industry. So, the singer has dropped an exciting new album, aptly titled ’15’ which features 17 new tracks including ‘Hoender Met Die Rooi Skoene’ – the official theme song for the film of the same name.
Sonically, Jak continues to explore the country genre that has inspired him throughout his career while delivering a strong adult contemporary album. The album is filled with tracks which blend his love for the genre with his love for Afrikaans music and the result is an incredibly authentic record. Jak keeps it simple and doesn’t stray too far outside of his comfort zone. While it would have been great to see him experiment a little bit more, he delivers everything his audience has grown to expect from him – everything that has made him such a hit with audiences around the country.
’15’ is Jak’s first album in two years and what makes this record so great is it’s authenticity. His writing is phenomenal and the singer has written some fantastic material here. From sillier songs like ‘Niemand Neem Hul Kwalik’ to more emotional and personal tracks like ‘Boervrou’ and ’15 Jaar Met Klavier En Kitaar’, Jak has a bit of everything here – making this quite an interesting record to listen to.
The emotional lyrics translate to an emotional performance. Again, Jak shows off his different personalities on the record. While the pop tracks are fun, it’s the deeper tracks where Jak shines. The emotion shines through his voice and the passion is loud and clear. It’s an incredible thing to see an artist really affect their audience through art – and that’s something Jak did with ease on ’15’.
The album is a well-polished piece of work. Besides the fantastic vocal performance and clean recording, the instrumentals are on top form. From the impressive guitar-driven tracks, piano ballads, trumpets, banjos, harmonicas, percussion and more, each instrument serves an important role on the album. It’s almost as if each sound is a piece of a greater puzzle and this proves what a fantastic musician Jak is.
Overall, while a predictable record, ’15’ is another fantastic release from Jak. It’s the perfect way to celebrate his monumental milestone. There’s something incredibly special about Jak and one simply needs to listen to this record to figure that out. Here’s to another 15 years in the industry!
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