I was still in school when I first heard Jan Blohm sing. Breyten se Brief was one of my favourites. Jan Blohm has always had a way of capturing his fans with his lyrics. This rings true to not only the songs, but also the story within his latest album, JENNY.
Don’t you just love it when there’s a proper story attached to a song? Let alone a whole album! Jan Blohm’s latest album is a collection of songs that tell the story of Jenny’s life and the songs remind me that there is not much to this life when there’s no love or human connection.
The love story that became his new album is something that Jan Blohm has been playing around with for fifteen years. He says it will also be the soundtrack for a movie with the same name. It is about two teenagers who lived in the conservative little railway town, De Aar and it takes place in the 1980s.
“The album is not just another collection of songs,” he says. “It’s like a movie of Jenny’s life.”
The album kicks off with a song called Levi Jeans, and introduces the listener to Jenny who wears her Levi Jeans as if they were holy linen. The song sets the scene for the story and makes you feel part of it. Track three, Jenny is probably one of my favourite songs on the album. It tells about the singer remembering the time when it was still sin to dance and how Jenny taught him to dance after her mother had gone to bed. It makes you feel like falling in love all over again, but at the same time it also makes you miss someone you don’t know. The story (and album) unfolds and as it does, the music slowly builds up towards a climax with the final song, ‘My Beminde’. This song ends off the album in proper Jan Blohm, Afrikaans rock style. Most songs on the album are rather laid back and make you reminisce about life and love. The song, Ou Karoo, is stunning with some strings that bring a lovely sound. In contrast to that, ‘Waar kry jy jou naam’ is a brilliant upbeat track that will lure young and old to the dance floor.
Jan Blohm’s lyrics are simply beautiful. He sings of the freedom of her hand; of rain in Nieu-Bethesda, of the old Karoo, dreams, beauty from within, wisdom, trains, stations, sunflowers, God, waiting for love, fighting for love, a different world, blue eyes and general questions in life, like: “Why not now?” His songs give glimpses of the feeling of being in love; of longing for that special someone. It tells the story of two young lovers who believe in love; a couple willing to fight for it.
On this album, Jan Blohm’s (his real name is actually George Harry (Jorrie) Kymdell) rustic, warm voice makes me long for the open road and leaves me nostalgic.