Even though they sound like a run-of-the-mill garage rock band from turn-of-the-century New York, they gained world fame with a resounding victory at Eurovision 2021 from Italy with “Zitti e buoni.”
All this to say that while they really and truly know how to play rock (devil horns and all that), Måneskin are not afraid to use the tawdry, vulgar techniques of modern pop music. In fact, on the album “Rush!” they explicitly insert themselves into the sleazy, rambunctious world of decadent parties, sexy models and crude excess – all with a firm, brash tongue with a sly wink.
The album consists of 17 tracks, which may seem a bit lengthy, as if they didn’t want to leave anything out. Nevertheless, it’s fun and full of wild rock club energy so it doesn’t become too predictable and monotonous.
Songs like “Bla Bla Bla” “Gasoline” and “Don’t Wanna Sleep”, “Supermodel” are reminiscent of heady, danceable punk, as if the Buzzcocks had remade Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger.” There’s also a powerful collaboration with guitarist Tom Morello that sounds like Rage Against the Machine rocking out in a deep punk tango with Ricky Martin.
The best of their tracks come at the end of the album, where Måneskin and their old producer Fabrizio Ferraguzzo let their senses loose (some songs are sung in Italian), they are the incredibly exhausting “La Fine”, “Kool Kids” and the delightfully thrashy “Mammamia”.
With “Rush!” Måneskin live up to their Eurovision promise and present an album that is both exhilarating, inspiring and exciting. As they sing in the song “Kool Kids,” “I’m trash, real trash, but I’m good at it/We’re not punk, we’re not pop, we’re just musical freaks.”
Rush! by Måneskin The Story Behind
How the Italian Eurovision finalists are trying to ride the wave of popularity
It’s going to be a long talk, and I’ll start with a moment of revelation: I’ve been watching Eurovision since I was a kid and continue to watch it to this day if I have the chance (and I’ve never been ashamed of this fact).
The memories of my mother and me judging the performing artists and anxiously waiting for the results of the voting are firmly rooted in my memory, and no – I don’t take this contest as something serious and important for the music industry.
It’s a big, ultra-brilliant TV show, giving you a chance to meet dozens of the most absurd artists/groups from all over the globe, and I feel really bad that its essence has been clouded by political agendas and judging lately.
Bringing the conversation to Måneskin, I will give my experienced opinion. Let me remind you that this is the only case, on a par with conventional ABBA and Celine Dion, when the winner of the contest was able to ride the wave of popularity and stay on top of it.
After a string of ‘average’ singles and a couple of years of daring antics to please the tabloid press, the Italian foursome finally made it to their first album from the height of fame, “Rush!”, which was moderately praised by critics and trampled on by the public. So what do I think of it?
I think Måneskin did the predictable thing: they traded their native tongue for English and took Max Martin, who works exclusively with pop music, as a producer, so their whole image of polyamorous hard rockers from hot Italy was blown away and the public was left with a bunch of painted-up ladies’ man singing about sex, gossip and rock’n’roll.
And…it’s still fun.
See, “Rush!” is still terribly overlong and lacking in structure, littered with radio bubblegum and lyrics bordering on nonsense, but when their formula works, it makes you want to listen.
‘GOSSIP’, ‘BABY SAID’ and ‘SUPERMODEL’ have hooks as catchy as radio hits, the Italian-language ‘MARK CHAPMAN’ is the hottest number on the record, and the final ‘THE LONELIEST’ wraps up the record on a morose-bitter ballad.
Otherwise, Måneskin suffer from an identity crisis and can’t decide where they should go, so they put all the work on the producers, marketers and other sub-personnel, so that the band can keep making vulgarities, rocking out on stage and basking in the glory.
If “Rush!” had kept its focus on its Italian roots and not coddled itself in favor of the bigwigs, the result would have been much more convincing, but as it is, it’s not as bad as they write about it on the net.
I think this is the first negative review on our beloved “About Music” sub-site. Usually, we share good new releases here, or music that has really grabbed a special place in our hearts. But, on the night of February 10-11, on the spur of the moment and with the lowest of expectations, I decided to listen to a new album by an Italian rock band called “Mannequin”. I saw huge for a pop release timing and scores in the red spots on music aggregators, nevertheless realizing that for the next 17 songs I would be surrounded by exceptionally good music: I turned on this album, listened to it from beginning to end, and tell about my impressions.
Album review Rush!
And so, as you understood, the album is not of the best quality. It’s better to say that it’s produced decently, to the way the instruments or vocals are mixed I basically don’t have any complaints, because this is a release of a big band, with tens of millions of streaming, of course here everything will be decently. And if we talk about the songs themselves, then it’ll take a while.
Two years ago when I listened to their second album “Teatro D’ira” I liked that there two main hits, being pop-tracks by structure, had cool and very touching rocker instrumental. In this album, unfortunately, the band couldn’t give the same level of music.
Even though the album’s genres specify various sub-genres of rock, the songs here work as pop music. That is, instead of drum machines and synthesizers, guitars and drums were used here to create the music, but otherwise it’s just regular pop songs. Some songs like “OWN MY MIND” and “READ YOUR DIARY” try to hook you with their hooks and repetitive phrases, which sounds very cheap. The rest of the songs are just uninteresting rock instrumentals that are just there and that’s it. You don’t remember any song because either the music in them is formulaic and similar to the previous song, or because just the music in them is boring, no matter how the hooks want to prove you otherwise.
And the instrumental, it’s pop-rock after all, what about the vocals? And vocally, guys, it’s pretty bad. The vocalist of Mannequins has a rather unpleasant voice, personally for me. I realized I didn’t like his voice when their cover of “Beggin” came out of every iron in 2021, and instead of sweet tickles, that Italian voice started scratching my ears to blood. And how my ears felt bad from almost an hour of active contact with the sounds that Damiano David was making. For the most part, it was his vocal lines that were to blame for the album being so stuffy. I especially want to mention such great songs as “BLA BLA BLA BLA” and “KOOL KIDS”, during which my facial muscles did a good job, as my face was wildly distorted by the lyrics and the way the vocalist pronounces them. “BLA BLA BLA BLA” is one of the worst tracks of the year, by far.
I also got a huge cringe from working with Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine. Because one of my favorite guitarists, who played on one of the greatest albums in my opinion, is here just to be a synth player. Like…why? Why did Tom Morello decide to get involved, what was his motivation in doing this?
The main hits that were released as singles long before the release of the album, for me personally, do not have the same charm as the main hits from their previous album. Still, the greater departure into pop has made the band’s music worse. And the other songs are even worse, uninteresting and lacking any positive detail that could possibly give a good impression of the album.
And the final song, which wants to seem so soulful and pleasant, after the usual pop that the whole previous album was, seems, however pathetic it may sound, to sound fake, and you want to bury that last ray of light that the album wanted to stand out with.
If we mention more songs, “DON’T WANNA SLEEP” feels like a parody of “I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE”, and in “TIMEZONE” the melody is either stolen from somewhere, or just very formulaically written. The rest of the songs were left out of my attention altogether.
And after I finished listening to this record I felt very tired. Already on the penultimate three songs I wanted to turn off the album, because listening to the same melodies and very repulsive singing is very difficult. I felt like I was working a shift in a factory, by God. I was about to re-listen to the album for the sake of this post, but decided to trust my memories and highlighters from the notes where I briefly described each track.
If you like this album, go ahead and listen to it, for God’s sake, but I’m not that impressed by this kind of music. Monotonous songs, absolutely no catchy melodies and hooks that really want you to sing along to them or at least remember them, but because of their impersonality you won’t do either.