New Måneskin album not (entirely) worth the RUSH!

Italian rock band Måneskin have returned with their new album RUSH!

Måneskin rose to worldwide stardom after winning Euovision in 2021. The group gained traction on social media quickly, scoring television appearances, performing on Saturday Night Live and even opening for The Rolling Stones. Their high energy and risk taking performances and outfits had everyone talking. Needless to say, this album was highly anticipated by not only fans of the band, but those who are curious about what else this group has to offer.

While RUSH! is not a disappointing album, it did not blow me away. The album is well produced, has great moments and showcases the band’s abilities. However, the album’s downfall comes from a lack of diversity in sound, length of the album and organization of the tracks. 

The first half of the album is where it drags. It is packed with high energy songs, but none of the songs fully stand out. The choruses are catchy, especially on the second track “GOSSIP” featuring Tom Morello. The instruments, especially the bass, sound fantastic and drive the songs. However, at times the guitar and drum lines can get repetitive, causing you to lose interest fast. One song blends into the next. I find myself listening for something different on each track, unique guitar line or different vocal technique, but not a single song wows me or draws me in.

Not helping that fact is the fourth song “BLA BLA BLA,” a lyrically simple song which feels a bit too long. It is full of many lines where the words “dumb”, “ah”, and “gaga,” among others, repeat over and over again. It does not help the case of the album dragging and will most likely not appeal to a casual listener. While it is not a bad song overall, it does not bring anything special. The song does nothing to elevate the album. It feels like a filler song on album that already feels too long.

The sixth track “GASOLINE” is when we get something unique sonically. It has a cool bass and drum intro and the vocals bring something different and sound fantastic. It used dynamics in instrumentals and vocals and sounds a bit edgier, bringing a breath of fresh air. It has a chorus that makes you want to scream along. While it still fits the tone of the rest of the album, it allows for the listener to hear what else the group has to bring to the table.

After a few more similar sounding songs, we begin to see a shift in the album. The tracks where I feel the band shines. It is almost like they hit the halfway point and decided to shift. The sounds that stand out are all stacked onto the back half of the album, making the first half almost not worth listening to. Track nine, “KOOL KIDS” and beyond is where I feel the best moments on RUSH! can be found. The tracks bring a diversity instrumentally, vocally, structurally, and just overall are the best tracks on the album. The album begins to move and draws you in. The songs become more exciting, and begin to turn your overall opinion of the album around.

“KOOL KIDS” will have a crowd chanting the lyrics. The driving bass line and format of chorus is bound to be a crowd favorite with a different, rougher vocal that catches you off guard. The structure of the song is more shorter, choppy lines. Making these lines easy to chant and sing along. The repeating of “kool kids” in the chorus sounds like chant of a rebellion of those who want to go against what is “normal”. This song reminds me of old school punk rock. That nostalgic feel and rougher, edgier instrumental provides a clean transition into the rest of the album.

“IF NOT FOR YOU” brings an acoustic and slower moment. The lyrics feel open and honest, talking about someone who makes life worth living. The vocal has almost a crying sound to it. Frontman Damiano David uses dynamics within lines, starting off loud before trailing off to almost a whisper. It sounds almost like he is just singing straight to someone. It is a simple song, not abundance of effects or over the top instrumentals. It just lets the lyrics and emotion tell the story and bring the song to life. At the very end it has a slight moment where it gets loud, but then goes right back down again and fades out, a beautiful moment in my opinion. This track is a favorite for me, and one of the best moments on RUSH!

“MARK CHAPMAN”, “LA FINE” and “IL DONO DELLA VITA” are sung in Italian and in my opinion, are three of the best tracks. The first two songs are back to the high energy style of the previous songs, but with a unique sound. “LA FINE” has a more angry tone and rap style lyrics, another vibe that we have not heard on the previous tracks. “MARK CHAPMAN” feels almost sassy and edgy, with moments where the instrumentals take control and slowly build with the vocal to create attention-grabbing moments. The intro has a fun guitar line that then brings in drums and bass to finish the sound before the vocals just dive in.

“IL DONO DELLA VITA” may just be my favorite track on the album. The vocals are powerful and the pain and sadness behind the lyrics are evident. But, if you listen closely, you pick up on an undertone of hope. While he may be singing about struggles in life, he is hopeful and determined to overcome challenges. Life may be hard now, but it will get better. Everything from guitar, to drums, to vocal balance and blend very well. The dynamics on the track are perfect and help bring the song to life. The guitar feels powerful, edgy and just soars. It compliments the vocals perfectly and shines during the solo. The outro is quiet, simple and ties the song together. 

Closing the album is “THE LONELIEST,” another stand out track. We hear Måneskin go back to more of an acoustic sound at the start and build into a powerful chorus to close out the album. The vocals shine on the track, bringing emotion that can be heard from start to finish. You can hear a bit of pain behind the vocals that lead into the loud and powerful chorus. The opening verses a more quiet, slowly drawing the listener in. The vocal technique used bring out the feeling of hopelessness and sadness. It is slower and lines drag out a bit. Then it picks up a bit right before the chorus, like he is building up to a big realization. When the chorus kicks in the song soars, vocally and instrumentally. The pain and emotion builds and all comes through on the chorus. You are drawn in and listening intently and letting the song encapsulate you from start to finish. The drums are used to drive the lyrics and keep the song moving. Adding in a cool guitar effect to give it some edge in the bridge and the track is the big moment that this album needed. 

Overall, RUSH! by Måneskin is an album that has moments that stand out and showcase their abilities, but needed more moments to show a diversity in instrumentally, vocally and lyrically. The first half of the album drags and does not contain many songs that will have me coming back, whereas the second half is stacked with tracks that will bring me back for more listens. The catchy choruses and high energy beats are the main focuses on the album, but the moments where they slowed down and brought emotion stand out.

 Rush! by Måneskin was released on January 20, 2023 and can be found on all music streaming platforms.

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