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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
The Observer

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‘RUSH! (ARE U COMING?)’: Måneskin reissues latest record

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Måneskin, the Italian band known for securing their place in history as winners of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, have made waves in the world of rock and roll. Before any of them turned 25, they had opened for the Rolling Stones, produced a viral cover of “Beggin’” by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and were even nominated for Best New Artist at the 2023 Grammy Awards. 

Their third and most recent studio album “RUSH!” marked a change in the direction of the band’s music. With their increased popularity, the quartet saw a need to market themselves globally and appeal to a wider audience, working with famed producer Max Martin to hone their sound. I reviewed the album following its release in late January, finding it to be generally favorable despite the odd ordering of the tracklist and the lack of Italian songs (I also still don’t like “BLA BLA BLA”). 

With the release of the deluxe edition — “RUSH! (ARE U COMING?)” — on Nov. 10, some of these faults were ameliorated. This edition features five new songs — “HONEY (ARE U COMING?),” “VALENTINE,” “OFF MY FACE,” “THE DRIVER” and “TRASTEVERE.” Each has their own merit, and their value as a collection alleviates (but does not cure) my previous concerns about the ordering of the tracklist. 

“HONEY (ARE U COMING?)”

The first track of the deluxe does not disappoint. Released as a single on Sept. 12, it is undoubtedly the catchiest song of the five additions. It is fast-paced, high-energy and features an addictive looping chorus which doubles as backing vocals. In his silver-tongued nature, frontman Damiano David sings to his liaison, “Meet me there where it never closes / Meet me there where it’s never hopeless / All is fair in love, oh-oh-oh / Honey, are you coming?”

“VALENTINE”

This ballad entails David’s devotion to his lover — his “VALENTINE” — as they are apart. He sings, “Crazy in love, daisy in bloom / Black hearts for pupils, I’m pacing the room / And I cover myself in tattoos of us / And dream of the day we embrace and combust,” showing the strength of his desire. Though the instrumentation guides the lyrics to a place of genuine love, the lyrics themselves seem like the words of a crazy boyfriend. It still slaps, though. 

“OFF MY FACE”

“OFF MY FACE” opens with a dirty drum beat and David spitting lines about how he and his romantic interest can’t help but return to each other despite repeating “Yeah, you’re never gonna see me again.” The interest’s love is like a drug, and David is “off his face.” I thoroughly enjoy this song, but I find it to be the weakest of the five when considering how lyricism and instrumentation come together. Both aspects are great, but they do not measure up to the quality of the other tracks. 

“THE DRIVER”

“THE DRIVER” again emphasizes the devotion David has for his lover, but this song is less creepy. Rather than tattooing himself until he sees his love again, he asks to be their right-hand partner — “If you’re gonna set fire to the night / Baby, let me be the lighter / … If there’s nowhere to go and you wanna go wild / I wanna be the driver.” David’s smooth vocals are the only slow thing in this track, with the fast-paced and exciting guitar tracks boosting the song to the heights. 

“TRASTEVERE”

Bearing the same name as a Roman neighborhood, Måneskin switches out electric for acoustic instrumentation — a true ballad that rounds out the five additions well. It is heart-breaking and beautiful, with David’s vocals soaring and drenched in anguish — “So leave me alone / Open up my chest, take everything I’ve got.” Despite the intensity of its sorrow, the intensity leads well into the album’s original opening track titled “OWN MY MIND.” 

Overall, the deluxe edition is good. I still won’t forgive Måneskin for barely making any Italian tracks for the album, but the quality of the songs truly made me forget I had problems with it. They add an extra depth to the original tracklist and make me glad the songs weren’t added in a “RUSH!”