Album review: Måneskin – Rush!

Roman rockers Måneskin continue their march towards ultra-stardom with raucous third album, Rush!...

Album review: Måneskin – Rush!
Sam Law

Måneskin have come a long way in the short time since they were plucky teenagers busking on the streets of Rome. Arriving via the Italian X Factor and their outrageous win at 2021’s Eurovision Song Contest, the quartet are already one of rock’s biggest bands: racking up billions of streams, supporting The Rolling Stones, crashing awards shows in a feelgood whirlwind of old-school swagger, dubious ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ and assless chaps. But they’re still hungry for more. Third album Rush! feels like a promise that they won’t be happy until they’re right on the tippity-top.

Some will say that’s a negative. The switch to English language lyrics, for instance, on songs like Own My Mind, Timezone and The Loneliest sacrifices complexity and quirky individuality at the altar of (even greater) UK/American success. The hip-swinging pop-rock pulsating through Bla Bla Bla and Feel, too, treads a fine line between retro-rock reliability and reversion to formula. And collaborations with a small army of superstar songwriters and pop producers – Sly, Captain Cuts, Max Martin – delivers both big money slickness and its own heard-it-somewhere-before familiarity.

When Måneskin tap into the youthful exuberance and fiery eccentricity that got them here in the first place, though, they’re still utterly unstoppable. Spring-loaded second track Gossip’s bombastic collaboration with Tom Morello has the air of kids buzzing to be in the company of a bona fide guitar hero – who’s just as inspired to be in theirs. Kool Kids sees an unexpected lurch into aggro-punk that feels like an adrenalised IDLES gone Italian. Best of all, the unhinged rap-rock of La fine and Il dono della vita’s jazzy swell – both sung in emotive Italian – prove their credentials as ambassadors of the universal language of rock’n’roll. Bravissimo!

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: The Struts, Palaye Royale, Panic! At The Disco

Rush! is released on January 20 via Epic/Sony

READ THIS: Måneskin: “We worked our asses off to get here, but we also know this isn’t something that happens every day”

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