"You’re one of my heroes Jan. May this music you make never stop. May you take your time and make it your own way always. Oblivious to trends, uninterested in genre or gender or tropes or trolls. Just making it as you can. Just making it work. Doing the work. Delivering. Here then, Ms. Hellriegel, until the next time, is your new career-best. Here then, dear listener, now and for a long time to come, is your new favourite album." - Simon Sweetman / BlogOff the Tracks
"Sportsman of the Year is stunning. Hearing it for the first time was unexpectedly emotional. Knowing how much Jan has gone through to be heard, I had tears and goosebumps." - Vicki Anderson / Stuff
“The album is beautiful and courageous” - Gary Steel / Witchdoctor
“With longtime fellow musician drummer/producer Wayne Bell – a rock throughout these pages – alongside the likes of Brett Adams, Ben King, Mark Hughes, string and horn arrangements, Sportsman of the Year is as fine an album as anything in Jan Hellriegel's illustrious career” - Graham Reid / Elsewhere
Soul barring honesty shines through in each track. Sportsman Of The Year is a rich offering of beautifully composed and produced music combined with illuminating storytelling. - Corrine Rutherford / NZ Music.net
This is a glorious twelve track album with ‘mini stories’ attached by way of autobiographical style book of twelve chapters. In her own words, it’s a “musical in a book”, and, I think one of her most significant works to so far…Tim Gruar / Ambient Light
Elsewhere: (Graham Reid) There is an interesting dichotomy in this book-album project by Auckland singer-songwriter Jan Hellriegel: In her prose she has an easy, anecdotal and conversational tone but the published words of the new songs on the tie-in CD are refined, poetic and precise.
It is the difference between the artist and the art; and the vicissitudes and joys of the life that informs these penetrating lyrics. - Graham Reid April 2019
Witchdoctor (Gary Steel) April 14 2019
Jan Hellriegel is about to release the best album of her career. As if that’s not enough, it’s a superb book as well. She graciously submits to the Witchdoctor Q&A. There are probably a lot of New Zealanders who, when they hear your name, instantly think: ‘Westy Gals’, when in fact you’re one of the highest- achieving figures in the NZ music scene. Read article here
“Sportsman Of The Year finds her in a great, empowered space”
If that sounds a bit humorless and preachy, then that’s my fault, not Jan’s. Because this is an album, first and foremost, of great songs well sung and beautifully played. You could completely ignore the lyrics and hum the whole thing and it would still rock. Because these are the kind of melodies that etch themselves in the subconscious almost instantaneously, but without giving in to the horrid current trend of a free orgasm with every chorus. Read full review here.
Music review by William Dart.
Both the new book and its songs have a directness and candour that are totally refreshing…If I had to pick a personal favourite from Sportsman of the Year — and it’s difficult — it would have to be the title song, inspired by her winning a gender-unaware sports award at Intermediate School.
Album review by Corinne Rutherford 6 May 2019
Jan Hellriegel is somewhat of an NZ musical icon, Songwriter, performer, producer, music publisher, copyright expert, mother and now author she has a name many of us of a certain age would have heard of. Her latest body of work Sportsman Of The Year appears to be a defining moment in not only her musical life, but also her personal one. A glorious twelve track album with mini stories attached and an autobiographical style book of twelve chapters based on the collection of songs. A “musical in a book” if you will. This may be her most significant work to date.
Blog Off The Tracks: I Wrote The Foreword For Jan Hellriegel’s New Book/Album – Sportsman Of The YearYou’re one of my heroes Jan. May this music you make never stop. May you take your time and make it your own way always. Oblivious to trends, uninterested in genre or gender or tropes or trolls. Just making it as you can. Just making it work. Doing the work. Delivering.
Here then, Ms. Hellriegel, until the next time, is your new career-best. Here then, dear listener, now and for a long time to come, is your new favourite album. - Simon Sweetman April 2019 Click through to article
The New Zealand Herald The Book Of Jan
by Greg Fleming 20 April 2019
"You will sing for your supper but you will have to work hard." That was the forecast Jan Hellriegel's Nana Mary gave her when she read her palm one afternoon.
She leads a thriving music publishing business and is about to release her best album yet along with the accompanying book, Sportsman of the Year - A Suburban Philosophy, which includes exposition and lyrics to all the songs and is part-memoir, part-self-help guide. Greg Fleming April 2019
Joanna Wane 12 May 2019
Singer, songwriter and “suburban philosopher” Jan Hellriegel has never liked being called a rock chick. She talks to Joanna Wane about rediscovering her voice – and writing herself back into New Zealand music history.
“I could probably have been more famous than I am now if I’d played the game a bit better,” she shrugs. “But I never felt part of that history, anyway. I didn’t fit into the cool group or the pop group. I didn’t have a theme or a genre. I certainly didn’t want to be a pop star with a producer who made my sound. I wanted to write my own sound – and it wasn’t the style of the time. I didn’t sound like anyone else. I still don’t sound like anyone else. And because of that, I was on my own. I was really on my own.”
Ambient Light May 19 2019
Reviewed by Tim Gruar
Jan Hellriegel is somewhat of an NZ musical icon. Songwriter, performer, producer, music publisher, copyright expert, mother and now author. Her latest body of work Sportsman Of The Year dials up defining moments not only in her musical life, but personal journey, as well.
…As a package this is a brilliant concept – the book, the album, the podcast, the download – what ever your platform and attention span, it’s a positive, uplifting collection. And with strong lyrics, catchy music, a mature sound and good writing it’s pretty clear that Jan Hellriegel has earned her trophy, even if she had to make and engrave it herself.Read full blog here