“Rush” Review: Cynical retellings of deserved fame


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Italian rock band Maneskin promotes their new album “Rush” with a preformance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

Relying on catchy lyrics and an energetic punk sound, Måneskin’s newest album “Rush” is a certified crowd-pleaser with enough edge to satisfy old fans and versatility for those who only recently discovered them. Boasting an almost overwhelming 17 tracks, the album somehow maintains a perfect balance, crafting numerous unique showstoppers into a cohesive narrative. “Rush” takes a dark perspective on the highs and lows of abrupt fame, masking the reflective themes of intrusion and loss behind a glam rock facade. 

The Italian rock band first made headlines in the international music scene after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021 with their original song “Zitti e buoni”

Their sudden popularity continues to grow after a 2023 Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, a few top 10 charting singles and a recent world tour full of sold out shows. With the release of “Rush” on Jan. 20, this success is unlikely to stop and Måneskin is seemingly up to the challenge

“Gossip” is one of the most theme-defining songs on the album, doling out biting accusations of the stardom they have clawed their way into and the people in their way. The song is cynical, blatantly stating “This place is a circus, you just see the surface / They cover shit under the rug” when confronting the “American dream” they have achieved. Amid eye-widening guitar solos from Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and the band’s own Thomas Raggi, harsh lyrics and a chaotic beat prepare you for what the rest of the album attempts to fight for: autonomy in a sold out industry. 

“Kool Kids” stands out as a satirical jab at the music industry and the punk exterior Måneskin adopted, teasing that “Cool kids, they do not like rock / They only listen to trap and pop / And everybody knows that rock and roll is dead.” In the half-sung, half-spoken track, it becomes evident the album as a whole is meant to be taken with some amount of humor and levity. Måneskin is new enough to the music scene to still avoid the pitfalls of pretension and acknowledge the entire brand they have crafted is a charade for fun. 

Thankfully, there is diversity in the album’s sound to transform the predominantly upbeat album into a well rounded discography, alleviating listeners from nearly an hour of only aggressive rock songs. “Timezone,” “If Not For You” and “The Loneliest” are beautifully heartbreaking ballads that maintain enough individuality to be distinct from each other. Meanwhile, “Baby Said” reigns champion of catchiest pop-esque song, characterized by nearly instantly-memorizable lyrics and a lewd subject matter guaranteed to make at least one person listening too carefully blush.

The most surprising thing about the album is not that every song is thoroughly enjoyable, but that none of its authenticity feels compromised by “selling out.” Måneskin undoubtedly skyrocketed to global fame over the past two years but rather than concocting an album with overly-formulaic radio hits that any person and their mother would enjoy, there is still grit behind the music and a roughness around the edges. There will be at least one song everyone can enjoy out of the 17 released but it is still a genuine reflection of the band’s ability and rockstar lifestyle. “Rush” is an easy choice when you are suddenly handed the aux, but double check that none of the other passengers are exclusively Top 40 pop music listeners first.  

Against all odds of merely obtaining their 15 minutes of fame, Måneskin has come out on top as a commercially successful, yet true-to-themselves, rock band with genuine talent. There is soul in their lamentations about hating the dark side of fame and a refreshing juvenility in the maniacal rock they use to rebel against it. “Rush” is raunchy, it is full of headbangers, and most importantly, it is rock and roll.