If there was one name we really never expected to see on our Soundcloud streams, it was that of Pope Francis. But it happened. It happened today. And we have to say ... we're pleasantly surprised by what he has to offer.
Yes, the pope dropped a single. Alarmingly titled "Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!", the track was released Friday, and it's part of an 11-song album that will be released on Nov. 27. Part of the proceeds will go to a refugee support fund.
Anyway, once we got over our initial shock (okay, it's a process, but we're getting there), we took a sincere listen to the track and decided that we like it. It's pretty definitively pop-rock — pope-rock! — but it's edgy and a little dark, too.
You go, Pope Francis.
So, does His Holiness lend his own vocals to the track, you ask? Yes! At least to parts of the song. There's also a section that features a speech he made in English, and the whole thing is wrapped up in pulsing contemporary-rock melodies that veer dangerously close to prog-rock territory. I mean, for the pope.
(No offense to the pontiff. We always knew you had it in you.)
This actually isn't the first time a pope has recorded an album; it's just the first album to sound like ... this. Don Giulio Neroni is the producer of the project, and he told Rolling Stone that he "had the honor to work with John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now Pope Francis."
He continued. "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."
Okay. Well. We'll take your word for it, Neroni.
In the meantime, we're off to add this one to our party playlist and baffle all of our guests. Ciao!