Måneskin - Rush! Music Album Reviews

Måneskin - Rush! Music Album Reviews
The Italian rock band has become a global sensation. Their new album is absolutely terrible at every conceivable level.

There is a listener who has been pulled into the world of Måneskin. I can sense their excitement, their carefree spirit, their urge to bite their bottom lip and pantomime bending a guitar string as an affirmative gesture. I know that, in this massively popular Italian band, this listener has discovered a rare and powerful thing. Måneskin are not just three men and a woman who play traditional rock music and—if you can believe it—all wear eyeliner. To this listener, Måneskin are something far more important: an alternative.

An alternative to what, exactly, is the question. The unlikely global ascent of Måneskin—the word is Danish for moonlight, pronounced MOAN-eh-skin— comes off as a collective unconscious need for something else, a retro, lascivious attitude that feels neither cool nor popular, and therefore stands in opposition to what is cool or popular. Their music may sound like it’s made for introducing the all-new Ford F-150, yet they won the campy, poppy Eurovision contest in 2021. The same year, they went mega-viral on TikTok with their version of “Beggin’,” a song originally written by the midcentury pop group the Four Seasons. Måneskin are from Rome, a city famous for a thousand things before you get to good rock music. “Can they conquer the world?” asked The New York Times. And Rush!, their first album recorded mainly in English, is absolutely terrible at every conceivable level: vocally grating, lyrically unimaginative, and musically one-dimensional. It is a rock album that sounds worse the louder you play it.

Måneskin now find themselves in a position where Rush! must present the questions that justify their popularity: With everything going on in the world, don’t you wish rock music was horny again? Don’t you wish more albums featured Tom Morello phoning in one of his octave-pedal guitar solos? What if we were the first band to sing the words “kiss my butt”? Don’t you wish cologne commercials were longer? Don’t you wish Guitar Center could win a Grammy? What if Max Martin worked with Wolfmother? Remember the band Foxy Shazam? Why is no one talking about how fake and phony Hollywood is? Don’t you think lyrics like “Oh, mamma mia, spit your love on me, I’m on my knees, and I can’t wait to drink your rain” are the kind of thing people are just too afraid to sing nowadays? 

It makes for a sweaty and effortful album that always seeks attention and never commands it. The wildest attempt to justify their status as the alternative to something is “Kool Kids,” where frontman Damiano David adopts a faux British accent to deliver a satirical broadside against “cool kids” that sounds like a Tory version of Mark E. Smith shouting over the Vines. “We’re not punk, we’re not pop, we’re just music freaks,” yelps David. “Cool kids, they do not like rock/They only listen to trap and pop,” he continues, hoping for more upvotes on his comment. This is an interesting social grievance from a band who are not just dressed in Gucci, they are dressed by Gucci. 

But this is the strange allure of Måneskin, a band so bad that you can’t listen to their music without thinking that, finally, as a culture, we’ve arrived at some inevitable mass Måneskin event. This must mean something. In theory, Måneskin—in their politely iconoclastic, youthful, inscrutably European, anti-mainstream guise—might fit under that rubric Americans once knew as “alternative rock.” It was a genre that conferred—in accordance with the social bylaws of the ’80s and ’90s—that what you liked signaled what you did not like: By owning a Sonic Youth album, you displaced the energy that otherwise would have been consumed by a Spin Doctors album. It was physics, sort of, and you built your identity around it. Maybe Måneskin’s global popularity signals a return to the oppositional force that once rallied the alternative against the monocultural mainstream? Maybe Måneskin’s 6.5 billion streams and counting presages the dawn of a new rock revival?  

The issue is that, about a decade ago, around the dawn of the streaming era, “alternative” as we knew it went extinct. Consuming music on streaming services made music a multiversal event, a mass conversion of listening to everything, everywhere, all at once. Genres became siloed, withering on the outside and thriving on the inside. Måneskin’s “Beggin’” ascending the upper reaches of the Billboard charts was not a cultural reaction to anything, it was just an anomaly. It is content without meaning. They weren’t Nirvana here to wipe hair metal off the map. Their success was fuelled by European reality show competitions, algorithms, and cumulative advantage. They are chaos in a vacuum, and we’re left to make sense of a band that sounds like a parody of an early aughts NME cover and whose whole vibe could best be described as Cirque du Soleil: Buckcherry. 

Even if you accept the premise that Måneskin are “music freaks” who love “rock,” you’ll be disappointed to learn that nothing else on Rush! gives off that impression. Their primary influence seems to be “Seven Nation Army” chants at a soccer game, followed closely by late-era Red Hot Chili Peppers, followed extensively by nothing. On the unbelievable “Mammamia,” the bass, guitar, and vocals are performed almost entirely in martial unison. It’s a fascinating choice that brings to mind fourth-grade band practice, or migraines. Contrast that with “Read Your Diary,” one of a few somewhat dynamic tracks on Rush! whose enjoyable barroom shuffle nevertheless demands we hear lines about pouring champagne onto your panties and “using my left hand because it feels like you.” 

Beginning with the cover art featuring the band’s mixed reactions as they peer up a schoolgirl’s skirt, Måneskin’s libido never achieves that leery, pansexual, transgressive quality they aim for. Every line about orgasms and fluids and oral sex feels like it was suddenly AirDropped to you on the subway. This is not a puritanical sex-negative reaction to songs about fucking so much as a design problem: Rush! was produced by the band along with megawatt pop songwriter Max Martin and a long list of radio hitmakers whose glossy work is insoluble with Måneskin’s uninhibited, over-torqued dick rock. The production sounds so cramped, digitized, and swagless that it seems to be optimized for getting busy in a Buffalo Wild Wings bathroom. 

Who is this for? Where is that rapt Måneskin listener? It strains credulity to imagine Rush! will rally the aging nostalgia crowd pining for the days of real music the same way Black Keys or Greta Van Fleet or any other Grammy-core rock act did. Sex-idiot rock—a storied and wonderful genre that bounces around from T. Rex to AC/DC to Van Halen to Jane’s Addiction to the 1975—deserves better than this. But Måneskin arrived, and they are here for you, wherever you are: a band to build your identity around and say, I’m not with the cool kids, I’m with Måneskin. 
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Måneskin - Rush! Music Album Reviews Måneskin - Rush! Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on February 14, 2023 Rating: 5


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