Back in the late 90s it looked like teen-icon Gil Ofarim might become an international superstar. He had all the potential. A gritty vocal that fitted his rocky edged pop songs, meaning he could bridge the gap between the teen pop market into the more adult rock arena. While The Moffatts duet If You Only Knew, the still awesome Am I Crazy? and the unforgettable On & On may have graced charts in several territories, the Munich born son of 60s icon Abi Ofarim found his early success hard to overcome. While he never quite disappeared from the German market, where released his finest album to date, 2003's On My Own alongside a string of releases in the bands Acht and Zoo Army, it was through appearances on The Voice of Germany (2012), Let's Dance (2017) and The Masked Singer (2019), that he finally saw the re-birth of his recording career in the mainstream consciousness.
Having teased the release of his new studio album, Alles Auf Hoffnung, his first solo release to be recorded in his mother tongue, with Ein Teil Von Mir, a touching tribute to his late father, it was immediately apparent that he would once again be treading the fine line between rock and pop, but this time very much on his own terms.
Gil Ofarim of the late 90s may have helped shape his identity, but it does not define his artistry. Is he still able to deliver a killer anthem? Yes. Does he still boast the vocal that launched him? Yes. But alongside those two definitive qualities is a life lived. Gil Ofarim now knows the highs and lows - a divorced father whose careers has been fuelled by twists and turns, this is a record built on his story and his feelings.
The result is quite simply breath-taking. Whether it is stomping along to the determined Freiheit in mir or swooning over the tender Held in deinem Film, Alles Auf Hoffnung paints a picture that is not of a perfect world, but one with which we can all relate.
While it could be argued the stadium sized Alles comes close to topping the aforementioned Ein Teil Von Mir as the album highlight, this is a record that does not need a choice cut selected. With each lesson a new experience or emotion is uncovered, and therein lies the beauty of Alles Auf Hoffnung.