Pope Francis is the 266th pope in the history of Earth, and he will be the first pope to release a prog rock album under his name. Wake Up! is due out in November, and the “Vatican approved” LP will feature Pope Francis himself delivering excerpts of his favorite speeches as well as hymns in a variety of languages. Those uplifting bits of wisdom will be soundtracked to music that, according to Rolling Stone, ranges from prog rock to Gregorian chants. Pope Francis speaks in Italian, English, Spanish, and Portuguese on the album, and addresses a variety of themes, including peace, dignity, environmental justice, and charity. Wake Up!‘s producer and artistic director Don Giulio Neroni told Rolling Stone the following about the album:
For many years, I’ve been the producer and the artistic director of albums by the Pope. I had the honor to work with John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now Pope Francis… 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.
The album’s first single, “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!” is excerpted from a talk Pope Francis gave in English to a South Korean audience back in 2014. It sounds nothing like the Arcade Fire song of a similar name, but maybe a little bit like a more optimistic Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Listen to the synthy spiritual below.
Wake Up! tracklist:
01 “Annuntio Vobis Gadium Mangum”
02 “Salve Regina”
03 “Laudato Sie…”
04 “Poe Que’ Sufren Los Ninos”
05 “Non Lasciatevi Rubare La Speranza!”
06 “La Iglesia No Puede Ser Una Ong!”
07 “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!”
08 “La Fa Es Entera, No Se Licua!”
09 “Pace! Fratelli!”
10 “Per La Famiglia”
11 “Fazei O Que Ele Vos Disser”
Wake Up! is out 11/27, Black Friday. Pre-order it here.