Rage Against the Obscene: Pope Francis Is Releasing a Rock Album Called ‘Wake Up!’
Pope Francis has embraced pop culture and new media like no pontiff before him, and while he maintains nine Twitter accounts, he's chosen an unexpected way to spread the good word: prog rock.
As His Holiness continues his U.S. tour, the Vatican announced he'll release Wake Up! – an 11-song collaboration with Believe Digital – on Nov. 27. The album will combine sacred hymns and excerpts of moving speeches in multiple languages set against an eclectic array of genres ranging from rock to Gregorian chants. No word on how the members of Rage Against the Machine feel about the use of the title "Wake Up," but we're guessing they'll be cool with it.
Rolling Stone premiered the first song, "Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!," which resides firmly in the realm of '70s progressive rock, and for good reason: Tony Pagliuca (founder of Italian '70s progressive outfit Le Orme) wrote the track along with several others on the album.
Producer and artistic director Don Giulio Neroni said, "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."