In the name of the Father, the Son, and a totally sick beat (assuming permission of Taylor Swift, of course), Pope Francis is preparing to add to the world’s arsenal of fresh new sounds by lending some of them the imprimatur of the Holy Catholic Church. The newest Pope—a man so cool, he doesn’t even own a TV, bro—isn’t about to let Kanye West get away with that “I Am A God” bullshit without responding in kind. Rolling Stone reports the Pontiff is set to drop his debut album, a prog-rock-infused collection of seriously holy jams called Wake Up!, November 27. And just like every other prog-rock LP ever recorded in history, it sounds like it’ll be a concept album.
Wake Up!, which hopefully implies the presence of at least one Rage Against The Machine cover track, sees Pope Francis spitting hot fire on the mic, with the Vatican’s rawest MC “delivering sacred hymns and excerpts of his most moving speeches in multiple languages paired with uplifting musical accompaniment ranging from pop-rock to Gregorian chant.” The first single, “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!,” which actually exists and is not an invention of The A.V. Club to make this whole thing even more unbelievable, features excerpts from an English-language lecture His Holiness delivered to a South Korean audience last year. His words are set to music that wouldn’t be out of place during the lull in an ’80s action film, perhaps in a montage of the hero kissing his child goodnight, then building a grenade launcher in the basement. Only, you know, with more trumpets heralding the Good Word. You can listen to it on Soundcloud, followed by presumably going, going, forward, because you have just woken up.
Throughout the album’s 11 tracks, Pope Francis delivers messages in English, Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish, on subjects like “peace, dignity, environmental concerns and helping those most in need.” Musical director Don Giulio Neroni, who has overseen past albums by Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI, stated that he felt contemporary music like rock, pop, and Latin better matched the “pastoral and personality” of Pope Francis. He then presumably lit some mellow Nag Champa incense, adding, “You know what I mean, man? Like, just feel it.” Given that Pope Francis is already in the middle of an ongoing world tour, it’s not clear if he’ll be developing a new stage show to accompany the album’s release, but we’d recommend a giant hydraulic hand passing out communion wafers, akin to Cypress Hill’s enormous onstage bong.
Wake Up! track list:
1. “Annuntio Vobis Gadium Mangum”
2. “Salve Regina”
3. “Laudato Sie…”
4. “Poe Que’ Sufren Los Ninos”
5. “Non Lasciatevi Rubare La Speranza!”
6. “La Iglesia No Puede Ser Una Ong!”
7. “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!”
8. “La Fa Es Entera, No Se Licua!”
9. “Pace! Fratelli!”
10. “Per La Famiglia”
11. “Fazei O Que Ele Vos Disser”