Text: Marieke Weeda
After winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021, Italian rock band Måneskin conquered the world at lightning speed. With the promise to prove that ‘rock and roll never dies’, the band climbs the charts and plays shows all around the world. Therefore, the expectations for their third album Rush, the first after winning Eurovision, are high.
Because of the variation in the singles released prior to the album, it remained a bit of a question of what direction the album would go in: there were four up-tempo songs, but also a ballad, four written in English and only one in Italian. The album ends up containing no less than 17 songs, of which the majority are written in English. It is quite a shame that English songs take the majority, because Italian-language rock is part of what made the band unique. It seems like the English lyrics are missing depth. Of course, not every song is expected to be a poetic masterpiece, but in comparison to the sound of Italian songs, the English ones take the back seat. Lyrics like I hate your face but I like your moms (bla bla bla) are not particularly creatively found. Repetition seems to be a recurring theme: repetitions like bla bla bla, dance dance dance and you you you are heard a lot. Opposing that, the Italian songs sound much more interesting even without speaking the language: the song La Fine resembles, both in language and in the instrumental build-up, the song Zitti e Buoni with which Måneskin won Eurovision.
In the first half of the album, many of the songs sound quite the same. The sound is typically Måneskin: hard drums, bass line, and guitar in the chorus. They barely deviate in build-up either, which makes these songs have little surprise to them. In the song Kool Kids we thought to be hearing a different singer, but it turns out this is just singer Damiano David in an odd screaming manner. However there is light at the end of the tunnel: the further we progress in the album, the more interesting it gets. In the songs Gasoline and Mark Chapman, interesting guitar solos compensate for a lot. We also see more variation in tempo and build-up, with both catchy up-tempo songs and slower songs in which the raw voice of singer Damiano comes forward beautifully. The album ends with rock ballad The Loneliest, a solid wind-up for the album in which the singing and the instruments come together perfectly, which shows the strength of cooperation within the band.
The higher the expectations, the more difficult it becomes to live up to them. The young Italians certainly did not disappoint us, but with exception of a few positive outliers also did not surprise us much. The band is starting the European leg of their Loud Kids Tour next month. These shows are promising: because of the charismatic air of the band combined with the huge amount of energy and extravaganza they emit when playing live, it could very well be that the album will reach its true strength when being played live.