1. What did you think about the song overall when you first heard it? Was it what you expected to hear? Does it feel like a typical Maneskin song?
Helevorn: Honestly? I’m truly disappointed, and I’m not going to hold back. I gave them a pass for Supermodel, but I’m not going to do this now. I’ll explain exactly what I feel about it. It’s pop. it’s simplistic. It doesn’t stand out.
2. Let’s analyze this in more detail, starting with the lyrics.
2.a. What’s the song about?
Fortunus: And from what I can see, it seems like their song is about Damiano's breakup and how he feels about his ex.
2.b. How do the lyrics compare to the other songs we've analyzed before, especially the ones in Italian?
Fortunus: I feel like the lyrics are more shallow and more generic. This song is just about a breakup and the negative emotions Damiano experiences in light of it. In songs like Coraline and Torna a casa, it’s not just about love. At first glance, it seems to be about love, but there are many other themes, such as mental health, trauma, religion, and violence. There’s also a lot of literary references.
Honestly, this feels like a typical popular culture song with some gothic aesthetics in the video. If I didn’t know, I wouldn’t have thought this was Maneskin! This really lacks the emotional and literary depth of their Italian songs, especially the ones me and Dr. Metalhead have analyzed on this channel.
Helevorn: In my previous videos, I compared the lyrics of songs like Torna a casa and Coraline to some of the best metal performances I heard (I even compared Damiano with Dani Filth!), and I’m not taking it back. Damiano has great potential as a writer. But he just didn’t nearly give his best here.
Let’s think about some of their best songs so far: Coraline, Torna a casa, Le parole lontane, La paura del buio, Vent’anni. Just like the best rock/metal lyrics out there, these songs hit us with powerful things, psychological realism, vivid images, emotional depth, they gave us something to think about.
One thing that separates rock/metal music (or other genres that aren’t supposed to cater to everyone) from mainstream music is that it doesn’t shy away from stuff that’s more difficult to digest. I’m talking here about heavy themes (mental health, trauma, death, war, violence, religion - especially criticism thereof, and often an inspiration from literature, folklore and myth), and a poetic form, lyrics that aren’t immediately comprehensible to the lazy and uneducated reader (having lyrics that tell a story, a great amount of lyrics and not just a couple of sentences repeated on and on, and also the use of literary devices, like metaphors, similes, epithets, and so on).
Previous Maneskin songs had all that.
Example: Let’s compare a line where the speaker talks about his ex-girlfriend and remembers the good times they shared.
And I just keep on thinking how you made me feel better
And all the crazy little things that we did together
Torna a casa:
She pulled me up from the ground covered with thorns
With a thousand snakes' bites, motionless through the coils.
Example: Now the speaker talks about he doesn’t want to go on without his lover.
Cause I don't even care about the time I've got left here
The only thing I know now is that I wanna spend it
With you, with you nobody else here
Le parole lontane:
Now, take me home because the winter scares me, and my legs are giving up.
You can't see how much I'm freezing.
Marlena, take me home because you smile is wonderful
But you know that if I lose you, I'll never walk a metre again.
3. How would you describe the sound, the voice and melody?
Fortunus: I think it sounds a lot like pop, with only some undertones of rock. It’s very soft and the melody and feel is quite generic. As I said, it doesn’t feel Maneskin. I understand that they’re trying to appeal to more audiences, but this really falls short of their usual quality and style. We had a fear that they were going to change after moving to L.A., and it seems like they have…
Helevorn: Maneskin are a rock band who wanted to cater to a wide audience, and this is why I was excited about them after winning Eurovision and enjoying worldwide success: they were bringing rock music back into the mainstream. I never expected them to go beyond mainstream rock (as opposed to underground/extreme rock). But as long as it’s ROCK.
Damiano’s voice had the rawness of rock music which gave it so much emotion, you could feel it viscerally. Even in those funky songs they made years ago, like Moriro da re (that’s by no means rock, but Damiano’s voice is pure rock, and the steampunk gypsy aesthetic).
These soft-voiced melismas, these vocal flourishes, they’re typical of pop music.
And Damiano isn’t Whitney Houston, he doesn’t have the vocal range for that; what makes his singing stand out is the gruffness in his voice.
4. What did you think about the video?
Fortunus: I must say, the video is quite good, but it feels generic. Also, it doesn't feel Maneskin...it feels sort of generic pop with a tiny bit of Goth influence due to the funeral theme and how they're dressed in black.
5. How does this song compare to Supermodel, which is another song in English, and the first single off the new album?
Fortunus: The melody and style is less pop-influenced than Supermodel, but both songs don’t feel Maneskin. It feels manufactured and trying to appeal to as many people as possible.
Helevorn: I agree. Supermodel was more light-hearted and had some humour and sarcasm and critique of the music industry and of people who consider themselves to be superstars. But The Loneliest was supposed to be the serious one, the pies de resistance, so I had higher expectations. In this sense, it disappointed me more.
6. What do you think about how their style seems to have changed to become more pop since going to the US?
Fortunus: It’s disappointing, to be frank, but I understand this is the direction they’re going into. If it attracts more fans, I think it’s a good thing, but I hope they never abandon their original style and feel. Maybe once they gain a foothold in America, they will make more songs like their original music, only in English.
Helevorn: I hope so, too. This is what earned them attention, the fact that they stood out. I hope they won’t waste their potential by trying to blend in, when it’s the opposite of what they have declared to be their artistic creed.
Helevorn: Thank you so much for joining me, Fortunus, for this analysis. And now a question for our viewers: what do YOU think about The Loneliest? Please share your thoughts below, this will make for an interesting discussion.
Thank you so much for watching, everyone, I hope you enjoyed this (whether you agree to our critique or not)!
Also, If you're a writer or an avid reader, please check out our new literary magazine The Unconventional Courier! Both Fortunus and I, along with our friend Tete DePunk are editors and founders.
Also, if you're interested in book reviews, the process of writing and character creation in fiction, please check out Fortunus 's podcast The Nuts and Bolts of Writing.