Friday, May 28th, 2021

Måneskin – Zitti e Buoni

HARD. ROCK. Hallelujah?


Harlan Talib Ockey: Fuck. I love Eurovision now.

John S. Quinn-Puerta: Armed with a guitar tone somewhere between John Frusciante and Alex Kapranos, and a vocal flow cribbed from the latter, Måneskin brought basement venue rock to the stage in Rotterdam on Saturday. It’s easy to imagine a room full of 20 year olds in various states of inebriation shaking the building’s foundations as they jump along to the chorus. The song is a perpetual hype machine, with fuzzy bass kicking in after the second chorus to keep your heart pumping while the guitarist recovers. And yes, there is some artifice inherent in the styling of the band, some clinging to a long-gone, perhaps non-existent, authenticity from the shouted speech: “Rock and Roll Never Dies!” I say there has been no death, no need to grieve, but an adaptation. Rock music has moved on from the sound valorized here. But Måneskin demonstrates that there is still an audience for that sound, and that that audience will certainly vote for Eurovision. And though they were only my third favorites in my first ever Eurovision watch (I love you, Daði and Kateryna) their win is well-deserved.

Scott Mildenhall: What might seem novel at Eurovision can be hackneyed outside it. Watching back, it’s easy to see what others might see in this — charisma and interplay so natural that it belies choreography — but little is that striking about the song. It makes absolute sense that Måneskin were catapulted to fame via X Factor (albeit a relatively cred-minded iteration), because “Zitti e Buoni” is trad to the point of naff — the first verse translated is almost parodically tepid. Later ones redeem that, making a more impressive fist of the Ed Sheeran Flow than its namesake ever has, but for all its engaging frenzy, it feels flatter on record. Agreeably swaggering yes, but banging techno-folk this is not.

Samson Savill de Jong: Eurovision’s deserved winner once you accept that Iceland were probably too kooky and Ukraine were too offbeat to win the heart of most of Europe. The competition gets a lot of stick for being a string of novelty acts trying to out-garish each other, stick which is not entirely undeserved, but it seems to me novelty rarely carries the day at the very top. Indeed, Måneskin may have conceded to walking around in/not in suitable glam costumes, but that was about the size of it, and the song itself is just some solid pop rock. “Zitti e Buoni” is fun, something to bop along to and sing aloud at the anthemic bit put there so people could sing it aloud. It’s not pushing the boundaries of rock (it was written for Eurovision after all) but it does the genre tropes very, very well.

Alfred Soto: Threatening to turn into “Life in the Fast Lane,” this Eurovision champ rummages through unexpected influences. It stops, a pleasant thirdhand pleasure.

Thomas Inskeep: I’m more than a bit surprised to be so into a Eurovision winner, but when the prize goes to an Italian glam rock band by way of The Pretty Reckless (who’ve clearly heard a Darkness record or two, too), what can you do but succumb to its greasy charms?

Katherine St Asaph: I missed Eurovision this year for the first time ever (not counting 2020 for obvious reasons). I’ve since heard dozens of lurid Patrick Verona-esque stories about what this band got up to on stage. I assume that, as with every Eurovision single, they’re what elevates this beyond what it is, to Abraham Van Helsing from Greta Van Fleet.

Katie Gill: So at this point, can we officially say that the Eurovision voting public has better taste than the juries? I mean, after the jury vote, the two frontrunners were Switzerland basically doing the same song that won last time but French, and France doing what they do best: being aggressively French. But then here come the public, pushing this fun piece of rock and roll right to the top. And SURE most of the votes are probably because everybody’s horny on main for the lead singer, but this is a good song! That rapid-fire second verse is amazing, that chorus is intense, that final chorus absolutely kicks ASS, and the song is delightfully modern, setting it apart from the charming yet still intensely dated other rock and roll entry. Besides, I enjoy it when Eurovision is chaotic and I cannot wait to watch a few countries try to copy this song in 2022.

Edward Okulicz: It is still not relevant that Finland was sillier and more fun, because Italy’s Eurovision winner had plenty of other things going for it. For starters, this had easily the best bassline in the competition. It also mixed credible-seeming glam-rock riffs, a credible-looking band presentation and plenty of pure pop smarts to make people dance in their seats. Eurovision’s a place for big, dumb choruses, for tightly-planned movement, for getting passionate about your favourite song like a sporting team, and getting into the spirit of music with the people you’re watching with. “Zitti e Buoni” may not have won precisely because it had something for absolutely demographic and every reason you might vote for a song, but the televoting results putting this over “proper” “good” entries like Switzerland’s suggest it can’t have hurt. Not my favourite, but a satisfying winner for all those reasons anyway. 

Reader average: [6.33] (9 votes)

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5 Responses to “Måneskin – Zitti e Buoni”

  1. Relevant to Katie and Samson – Ukraine came second in the public voting!

  2. A review of “Shum” by Go_A is a must.

  3. That’s because the public have good taste.

    Also, I would like to double down on my “I can’t wait for 2022” statement because you KNOW France and Italy are going to give each other nul points because of the cocaine green room rumors fiasco and I am a petty bitch who loves the drama.

  4. The lyrics in Italian are actually pretty good, just not in a way that easily translates. Most of the online translations make it sound somewhat nonsensical when it isn’t really, it’s just a lot of slang that is hard to translate correctly in tone and in content at the same time.

  5. I did wonder if that was the case, though I can appreciate the later verses just for their sound (which is weird, since they also remind of me of Sheeran).