You probably did not wake up today thinking you’d be able to ask yourself the question: Of today’s just-released songs, do I prefer “Burn it Up” by Janet Jackson or “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!” by…the Pope? Just like you probably didn’t once attend a concert at the Greenpoint, Brooklyn metal bar, St. Vitus, “Brooklyn Cheese Steak” Bao in one hand and Bud + shot precariously in the other, thinking, “This is great, but I think it’d be a much better venue for… the Pope.”
Unfortunately, only the first of these is a reality (though this post on Noisey surely makes the latter seem tantalizingly feasible). The Pope, now also known as the next “it” musician who’s gotten shout-outs from Pitchfork and Rolling Stone , has just announced the November 27 release of a “prog rock infused album,” titled Wake Up! It is “Vatican approved,” which probably means Pope Francis won’t be singing about not “need[ing] no education” or being “mad for fucking years” like his prog rock peers, Pink Floyd.
Rather, the album, which is a collab between P-Francis and Believe Digital, will afford the leader of the Catholic Church the chance to exercise his range — both linguistic, musical, and altruistic — skipping between “pop-rock” and more Pope-y Gregorian chants, speaking in Italian, English, Spanish and Portuguese, and covering environmental and humanitarian concerns. (The announcement notably came just after his speech for U.S. Congress, in which he advocated for the end of the death penalty, pled for the acceptance of immigrants, and an emphasized the importance of improved environmental tactics.)
Those who choose to preorder the album on iTunes will be able to instant-download the song “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!” It’s produced by Don Giulio Neroni who, it turns out, specializes in Pope production (Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope fka Twigs).
He told Rolling Stone:
As in the past, for this album too, I tried to be strongly faithful to the pastoral and personality of Pope Francis: the Pope of dialogue, open doors, hospitality. For this reason, the voice of Pope Francis in Wake Up! dialogues music. And contemporary music (rock, pop, Latin etc.) dialogues with the Christian tradition of sacred hymns.
Listen to the first, er, single here.