This Pope Francis article was written by Joel Graves, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Ian Bourne.
The Pope has released an album. Yes THAT Pope — of ‘Pope Mobile’ fame (see also: Head of the Catholic church). This album consists of recordings of Pope Francis’ speeches and prayers from around the world set to a progressive rock, electronic backing. Imagine, if you will, not Pope Francis, but Pope Jean Michel Jarre. If you love electronic prog music and Catholicism, this is most definitely an album for you.
If ‘Wake Up!’ is trying to get kids interested in religion, it probably won’t have much effect — the kids who may interested in this are probably in their mid-forties, fiddling with their rosary beads, wondering if Rick Wakeman is ever going to re-join Yes.
To be honest, it is still quite an interesting listen. The prayers, hymns and speeches are in several different languages, so for those of us who aren’t multilingual, it is a little difficult to comprehend to its fullest. The music, however, is surprisingly good. It combines elements from rock, soul, world music and ballads and, while it may be difficult to translate what the words mean, the melodies make up for this to the point where it doesn’t really matter what they are singing about.
With the exception of speeches not backed by music, ‘Wake Up!’ flows from one track to the next — so it’s hard to single out a standout track from the album. It sounds similar to some of Mike Oldfield’s output circa ‘Tubular Bells 2’.
This is an intriguing album that is not difficult to listen to but, at the same time, does meander in places. But — all being said — it is still a prog rock album by the Pope! Let’s just hope he doesn’t develop an ego and does something stupid… like claiming he’s bigger than Jesus.