Pope Francis and music distribution company Believe Digital are collaborating on Wake Up!, an album that pairs excerpts of the Pope's speeches and sermons with a variety of backing arrangements. It won't be released until November 27th, but lead single "Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!" is available for your listening pleasure right now over at Rolling Stone. If you're the kind of papal admirer inclined to call the Periscope star / New York City traffic ruiner a "rock star," you won't be disappointed: Francis urges people to "sing, dance, and rejoice" over a radiant piano melody before his backing band takes over for a proggy outro.
Pope Francis might be particularly cool, but he's not breaking new ground in terms of papal discographies. Predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI released their own musical collections during their reigns atop the Vatican, and Wake Up!'s artistic director and producer Don Giulio Neroni has been working with various titans of Catholicism on musical projects for decades.
Will Pitchfork review Pope Francis' album? We hope so
With that said, Pope Francis might have the magnetism and social cachet to grant Wake Up! the kind of critical attention and prestige previous Popes haven't enjoyed. He's already secured a Rolling Stone track premiere — here's hoping an NPR First Listen and a Pitchfork review are just around the corner.