Review: New album ‘RUSH!’ shows the power of expression in music
Måneskin’s third studio album adds to the beauty of their powerful discography.
I was first introduced to Måneskin on my Theatre foreign study program in London; their high-energy dance songs characterized my summer. Since then, the band has been a favorite of mine. Måneskin’s music never ceases to bring energy to any space when played. Past favorites like “I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE” and their cover of The Four Seasons’ “Beggin’” will always have a place on my more upbeat playlists.
Måneskin is an Italian rock band that formed in 2016. The band consists of vocalist Damiano David, bassist Victoria De Angelis, guitarist Thomas Raggi and drummer Ethan Torchio. Released on Jan. 20, 2023, “RUSH!” is the band’s third studio album, following “Il ballo della vita” released in 2018 and “Teatro d'ira: Vol. I” released in 2021. Their international breakthrough began when the group won the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest for Italy with the song “Zitti e buoni.”
Singles from their new album “RUSH!” have been released as early as 2021 with “MAMMAMIA” being released Oct. 2021 and “SUPERMODEL” released May 2022. The final three singles for this album, “THE LONELINESS,” “LA FINE” and “GOSSIP” — featuring Tom Morello — were all released closer to the album release date.
“MAMMAMIA” was the first song I heard in anticipation of this album. In a video of a live performance of this song, the stage presence of David — along with the whole band — was captivating, as the band brings so much energy to these performances. “MAMMAMIA” has a very similar feeling to “I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE,” in the sense that I was so enthralled by the beat that I didn’t hear the lyrics at first. The powerful bass riff and percussion create a funky dance feel full of energy. The lyrics capture Måneskin’s rise to fame and struggle with public perception.
Måneskin has not shied away from a strong public presence as they radiate freedom and expression. Their fashion specifically stands out as a part of their cohesive aesthetic and celebration of sexuality. In 2021, Måneskin performed in Poland where David and Raggi kissed on stage in defiance of Poland’s anti-LGBTQ+ rulings. The band shared a video of the performance on their Instagram account with the caption “Equal rights for the LGBTQIA+ community.”
“RUSH!” is complete with bangers similar to my past favorites. “GOSSIP,” featuring Morello, is a high-energy song that opens with an addictive riff that continues throughout. The uptempo dance-worthy beat combines lyrics like “fill your drink with tonic gin, this is the American dream” and “take your pills and dance all night.” According to Måneskin on Spotify, the song “tells how the ‘culture of perfection’ affects us all.”
My current favorite on the album is “GASOLINE” with its ominous and powerful melody. According to Måneskin, they have been playing this song on tour for months now, but this is the first time it has been released on streaming services. Additionally, the song is “an anti-war anthem . . . the whole song’s purpose is to do justice . . . and give intensity to the lyrics through a crescendo of energy that empowers their meaning.” The lyrics raise the stakes of the story throughout the song, starting with relatable scenes of youth and building from there. In the first verse David sings “starting fires since seventeen,” then the chorus continues to repeat “how are you sleeping at night? How do you close both of your eyes? Living with all of those lives on your hands?” This complete narrative is beautifully crafted with the classic Måneskin sound that fuels you with energy as you listen.
Another noteworthy song on the album is “IF NOT FOR YOU.” This song is significantly slower and more delicate than the others on the album. The intimate sound and David’s vulnerable voice mirror the lyrics describing how empty life would be “if not for you.” According to Måneskin on Spotify, the song was recorded as a one-take performance, which contributes to the feeling of an almost live performance. The use of strings is also unique in this track, adding to the somber mood of the song.
“MARK CHAPMAN” is the first of three songs on the album that are in Italian. In an interview with Billboard, David spoke about writing music in Italian and English, stating how although the band wrote their first albums in English, they started learning how to write music in Italian when they gained popularity in Italy. David emphasized, “It’s our language and we want to do it… we finally had the chance to make almost the whole album in English, because it’s like going back to our beginning [and] what we are most used to doing.” According to Måneskin on Spotify, writing songs in Italian is also important to the band because it connects them to their early Italian fans. “MARK CHAPMAN” is an electric song that captures attention whether you understand the Italian lyrics or not. “MARK CHAPMAN” is also the fastest-paced song Måneskin has released until now, in terms of beats per minute — with a BPM of 178, making it especially high energy and captivating.
“THE LONELIEST” is similar to “IF NOT FOR YOU” with its vulnerability, although its drum track and heart-breaking meaning sets it apart from the other song. “THE LONELIEST” has some of my favorite lyrics from the album as it follows a goodbye. According to Måneskin, “The Loneliest has a strong emotional charge, being a cross between a love letter, a farewell and a will . . . They are important lyrics for us: they express a message of universal love.”
“THE LONELIEST,” as the last track, also captures the heartache hidden within the album. Despite the songs being high energy and exciting to listen to, there are well-crafted tensions built into each song. With their rise to fame, Måneskin has been promoting freedom and fluidity in their music and stage performances. Even the urge to dance in response to their music feels like an exclamation of freedom. Like the lyrics in “GASOLINE,” “We won't take it standing still, watch us dance, we're gonna dancе on gasoline,” Måneskin shows the power of expression through music, fashion, live performances and encouraging their audiences to dance.