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Pope Francis to appear on prog-rock album

Pope Francis delivers a Mass at the World Meeting of Families. His next move is an album (CJ Gunther/Pool Photo via AP)

Pope Francis will feature on a prog-rock album this November.

The album, titled Wake Up!, is approved by the Vatican and aims to spread a message of hope and faith and will feature sacred hymns and excerpts from various speeches, as well as music from different genres including pop, rock and Gregorian chant.

The album will be released on November 27, with an iTunes pre-order available now, as well as one song from the album, Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!, which features Francis addressing a South Korean audience to the sound of “atmospheric synths, trumpeting horns and skyscraping electric guitars reminiscent of Godspeed You! Black Emperor”, according to Rolling Stone magazine.

“Wake up / Wake up,” Pope Francis says on the track. “The Lord speaks of a responsibility that the Lord gives you / It is a duty to be vigilant / Not to allow the pressures, the temptations and the sins to dull our sensibility of the beauty of holiness.”

Later on the moving track, the Pope tells his audience, “No one who sleeps can sing, dance and rejoice,” as he urges them to wake up and go.
Wake Up!’s producer and artistic director Don Giulio Neroni told Rolling Stone: “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.”