review of his new album of 2023
Everything about Måneskin is excessive: from the way they won Eurovision to the success of their tour (with the “sold out” sign hanging for weeks on almost every date) to the sex symbol status surrounding Damiano David. Their first long after the Eurovisual tour does not fall short either: in times of singles, mixtapes of barely half an hour and EPs, they have marked a 50-minute album (the group has stated that they wrote about 50 songs) and for whose launch has even staged a wedding officiated by the former Gucci designer Alessandro Michele.
If there is something that defines ‘RUSH!’ is their ambition: produced by Max Martin (who has worked with Katy Perry, Britney Spears or The Weeknd, to name just a few) and with the collaboration of Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine on ‘Gossip’, this new album by the Italianos consists of 17 tracks in which they seem to want to try everything, from that house-brand 70s-style rock to styles closer to punk (´Kool Kids’, whose “lyric video” pulls from the Soviet propaganda aesthetic that they already claimed in a similar way Franz Ferdinand) or nineties rock in ‘Il dono della vitta’.
Another novelty compared to previous works is the amount of half-times and ballads: they are not limited to one, but in addition to including the single ‘The Loneliest’, they add ‘Timezone’ (with a score reminiscent of 90s Aerosmith and in which Damiano assures that he prefers spending time with his partner to fulfilling his contractual obligations) or ‘If Not For You’, with an almost pop sound and which the group claims to have recorded in a single take.
Those who are looking for Raggi’s riffs or that rock that seems to have reached today from a time capsule, will find them in songs like ‘Mark Chapman’ or ‘La Fine’, one of the few, by the way, in which they maintain the Italian. A pity, because it is precisely what gives a plus of originality to some songs that, if it were not for Måneskin’s charisma, it is possible that they would go unnoticed: the biggest drag on the album is that having so many songs and so heterogeneous at times runs aground and some tracks seem little more than filler.
It also draws the attention of ‘RUSH!’ is the reflection they make of success: since they won Eurovision they have gone from being almost unknown to filling stadiums, touring all over the world, joining the line-up at various festivals (this year they will even be at Primavera Sound) and being part of campaigns Fashion. They’re rock enough to have the patina of authenticity that brands and media seek, but “good guys” enough not to cause headaches for advertisers. They play with sexual ambiguity, and in their songs they speak openly of their rejection of hard drugs and of ignoring the “cocaine on the table” (´Feel’), also blurring gender roles.
Precisely many of the songs refer to the world of fame, from ‘Mark Chapman’ to ‘Gossip’ (“this place is a circus / you only see the surface / they sweep the shit under the rug / you can’t see they’re faking it”) or on ‘Bla Bla Bla’ (“you said I’m ugly and my band sucks / but I have a song with a billion streams”). They even laugh at themselves on ‘Cool Kids’, making it clear that they don’t take anything too seriously and that all they care about is rock.