Album Review: Francois van Coke - Hierdie is die lewe

CHAD JOHNSTON

2 February marked the release of South African rock legend Francois van Coke’s second solo album, Hierdie is die Lewe. The blend of melodic beats and catchy lyrics makes the album easy to listen to by yourself, yet hard enough to blast on full volume on the way to a party.

The album is a good depiction of where Van Coke is in life, while the sound is simply an evolution on his first self-titled album. The first single, “Mensdom”, urges people to live in the moment and to acknowledge their flaws. Some of the harmonies and melodies are flavoured with an old-school influence that brings up a sense of nostalgia while still remaining fresh and new. Van Coke’s band, Die Gevaar, really came to the party with some electrifying melodies.

There is an air of introspection throughout the album, but it is especially prevalent on the third track, “Beter mens”. The ballad, “Die wêreld is mal”, shows off Van Coke’s vocal range and his lyrical skills in a way that takes us back to “Toe vind ek jou”, which became the first Afrikaans song to reach number one on commercial radio charts in South African history.

The last track on the album, “Klein prys”, is a moving tribute to Fokofpolisiekar. It’s a warm song that reminds the listener of the influence of the band on Van Coke’s life and career. In a nutshell, Francois van Coke has outdone himself. The album is exactly what we would expect from one of South Africa’s leading Afrikaans artists.

 

4/5

 

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