ROCKFOUR - The Man Who Saw It All
רוקפור - האיש שראה הכל
I remember when this album was released just before I was recruited to the army. Dark depressing times and the music fit perfectly. Last days of school, before shedding of my 70 cm long hair, leaving freedom and youth behind and joining the mind-numbing, free-will shattering and reckless focres of the IDF...
This album was one of the few comforts during that time and has been so ever since.
With its magical 60 psych-rock sound, it manages to take you back to a past time even though it was recorded in 1993-4. Production sounds dirty on purpose.
You'll hear influences from the Beatles, early Pink Floyd and others. In live shows the band used to cover those bands and others from that period. They also won a contest of covers of a PF song - Arnold Layne.
Anyway, this is highly recommended (even more if you understand Hebrew....) for those who want to reminisce, get nostalgic and immerse themselves in 60 rock/psych.
Eli Lulai has since left the group and if I remember correctly they are now only 3 members.
ROCKFOUR — The Man Who Saw It All
Review by Open-Mind
"The Man Who Saw It All" is the 2nd studio album of Rockfour. The album characterized with 60's style psychedelic sound. Although the tracks were pretty long and complicated, and part of them are instrumental, he was very successful producing hits like "The Man Who Saw It All" (Track 2) , "Time Machine" (T4) , "Hole In The Moon" (T3) and "Any Direction" (T5) and many people define it as the best israeli album ever. Isn't it a bit disturbing to say that, for an album who is just 12 years old?
Rockfour like to play it 60's in "TMWSIA" in every aspect: from the non-conceptual instrumental tracks, the divided sound (Guitars on the left vehicle, vocals on the right - see track 02), to the sweet composings with background vocals and great harmonies. After the galloping open ("Suddenly"), Eli Lulai and his friends start to symbol the power of one of the best albums i've ever heard with "The Man Who Saw It All", "Hole In The Moon" (where Baruch Ben-Yitzhak defines a dirty guitar sound for generations to come), "Time Machine" (which can remind you of The Beatles' "For No One", in a way) and one of the best psychedelic tracks ever to be recorded in hebrew (if not the best of them) - "Any Direction".
If i can be perfectly urnest, i believe that until track no. 8, "Late No Longer", Rockfour gives you - track by track - pure israeli classics. The album grows up with the listener, so that he can learn to love even the less communicative in it - for example, if in the beginning i couldn't stop hearing "The Man Who Saw It All" and "Time Machine", i began learning to love the complexity and the beauty of the storming guitars and electric bass of Baruch & Mark in "Sometimes", and i litterally fell on the floor when Eli started screaming and Iser before "It"'s chorus. I can't even switch tracks in this album, because Rockfour have created a musical journey, when every track builds the next track, and the album as a whole. This is not a concept album, but with the time the listener turns it to a concept album deep inside.
So is the best israeli album ever a perfect song compliation? no. There are some tracks that steals this title from "TMWSIA". There are not bad tracks, or even medicore - but with the high standard that Rockfour puts here, even "good" tracks can interrupt the musical orgasm that Rockfour provides. You can mention "Late No Longer" and "Me, Myself And What Comes Between Us" (Track no. 09), are obstacles in this album's way to the top of the international music mountains.
After Track 10, comes "Witness", which is really an exposition to one of the album's peaks - "End Of The Road". In "End" Rockfour proves they can be cynical, sharp & rageous and provides a full well-done rock anthem, with extra-ordinary drumming by Iser Tennenbaum, and mainly the singing by Eli Lulai, that will reach perfection in "Supermarket". The album ends with two instrumental tracks - "The Man Who Saw Too Much" and "Dust", that besides being a stage to Rockfour's talent, really contributes to the circle feeling that the album gives, like commands you to press play again and to re-experience the journey you have just witnessed to.
So if the Rockfour-haters, the ones that define them as "A very good band, that didn't reached it's full potential" (since when a rock band became a 12 year old student?!) - "TMWSIA" is the israeli album i've most enjoyed listening to, and i recommend it very much, because it's one of the best things that can happen to your musical archive.
Posted Friday, November 17, 2006, 08:08 EST | Permanent link
1. Pitom (3:48)
2. Haish Sheraa Hakol (3:19)
3. Hor Balevana (6:28)
4. Mechonat Hazman (2:53)
5. Kol Kivun (6:05)
6. Ktifa Schora (4:24)
7. Lifamim (4:41)
8. Meuhar Kvar Lo (1:43)
9. Ani, Ani Vema Shmafrid Binenu (4:17)
10. Ze (3:03)
11. Ed Medina (1:52)
12. Sof Haderech (4:09)
13. Haish Sheraa Yoter Midai (0:35)
14. Afar (7:33)
Total Time: 54:04
- Eli Lulai / guitars, acoustic guitar, vocals
- Marc Lazare / guitar, bass, vocals
- Baruch Ben Itzhak / bass, guitars, vocals
- Issar Tennenbaum / drums, percussion
CD Hed Artzi (1994)