Pope Francis: Wake Up! (Believe Digital) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, May 27th, 2020  

Pope Francis

Wake Up!

Believe Digital

Dec 29, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The news of Pope Francis' "prog rock album" went viral when it was first announced, but, like a lot of seemingly exciting things on the Internet, the concept turned out to be a little misleading. Most disappointingly, the Pope is not headlining festivals fronting a freaky outfit of Italian experimentalists, adorned in theatrical Peter Gabriel-esque makeup and belting hour-long rock symphonies.

Rather, Wake Up! is an intriguing collection of some of His Holiness' most influential speeches, set to rather saccharine, synth-based music. Though not exactly something you would hear in mass, there is an undeniably religious nature to the sound, backed with choral repetition and world-music inspired instrumentationall of which makes Wake Up! feel like more of a tribute to Pope Francis (or a very well-calculated work of Vatican marketing).

Although it is difficult to imagine any scenario in which listening to this is entirely appropriate, the album was clearly intended as an inspirational totem. Its total strangeness only complicates that effort. Perhaps listening to a prog album by the Pope without any sense of irony is just too difficult a task. It's certainly weird, but not artistically or intentionally. And how would I rate this, anyway? I suppose I'm hedging my bets in the afterlife by assigning it a rating at all. But, much like Francis' papacy, Wake Up! certainly defies any sort of preconceived notions. (www.twitter.com/Pontifex)

Author rating: 4.5/10

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