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Pope Francis Really IS the Cool Pope, Announces Rock-Influenced Album

Franco Origlia, Getty Images

He ain’t your father’s pope! Okay, maybe Pope Francis IS your father’s pope, if your dad is alive and Catholic. But the Argentina-born Sovereign of Vatican City has gained popularity for his humble approach to papacy, with his slightly more progressive views and direct contact with the poor and the public at large.To paraphrase Amy Poehler’s Mean Girls character, he’s not a regular pope — he’s a cool pope! He used to be a nightclub bouncer. He’s even got an active Twitter account. And soon, he’ll have a rock album.

Yes, His Holiness is really dropping a full-length — Rolling Stone reports that Wake Up! will debut on November 27. While trying to steal Adele’s rumored November release thunder would be a cold move on other artists’ part, the Vatican-approved album aims to promote Pope Francis’ “message of hope, faith and unity.” It was made in collaboration with a group called Believe Digital, and it will blend the Pope’s most stirring multi-lingual speeches with hymns and oh yeah, ROCK.

Wake Up! will also feature other spiritual elements, including Gregorian chants, and in the album’s lead track, horns. You can listen to the urgently-titled “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!” over at Rolling Stone, or download it at iTunes now with pre-order. The composer, Tony Pagliuca, used to be in a prog-rock band, to give you a sense of the album’s direction.

It’s not the first album release from a pope. Wake Up!‘s artistic director Don Giulio Neroni also worked on notorious club banger Abbà Pater by Pope John Paul II, and the fun ‘n funky Alma Mater with the less popular Pope Benedict XVI. But as a recent Pew study found the number of U.S. Catholics has dropped by 3 million since 2007, there’s never been a better time to leverage Pope Francis’ accessible personality (and Klout score) to win back old church members — and court new younger ones. 

Will you be copping Wake Up! when it drops on November 27?

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