Yes, you read that correctly. The Pope just dropped an album. The real one. Like, the actual Pope has released a musical album in 2015. In HMV (other music retailers are available) right now you can buy the Pope’s new album. It’s even on Spotify if that’s your thing. I’m sure if you had asked people in 1915 what the world would look like in 100 years, someone might have thought of colour television, maybe someone would have thought of mobile phones, but no-one would suggest that the Pope would decide to drop the hottest album of 2015. Perhaps it isn’t the hottest album of 2015 (it’s currently suffering from competing against Bieber), but you get the point. It makes sense for a collection of papal speeches to be released, the guy draws crowds bigger than Wembley every day no questions asked, but this album is much more than a bunch of speeches.

The album varies a lot musically but remains largely atmospheric, with occasional progressive rock moments. It is the sort of music that most only listen to when revising, but hey with January exams that might not be a bad idea. Maybe avoid putting this on your pre-drinks playlist though. The lead single ‘Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!’ is comfortably the standout track of the album, a massive rock song with roaring guitar chords, dark synth lines and a wonderful supporting brass section. This is by far the most motivational song released this year. Catholic or not, if you ever struggle to get out of bed in the morning, set this song as your alarm. You’ll find that days suddenly have a lot more hours and you feel confident enough to do anything. Would it be too much to ask for this to be the Christmas number one this year?

It is hard to comment on the other songs lyrically, solely because I don’t understand the language they are recorded in. Having said that, there’s definitely a lot about companionship, peace, and I think there was a Drake diss in there, so be ready for that imminent twitter beef. ‘La Iglesia No Puede Ser Una ONG!’ kicks in with a raw bassline and a catchy upbeat Latin chant, over bongos, because of course it does. It continues into a string backing line that wouldn’t be out of place in a Disney film. The album concludes with a speech given to Vatican City in 2013, backed by a choir and yet more Disney strings. A more solemn melody breaks into an uplifting ends to round off a surprisingly impressive album.

P.S. I promise that these comments about the album were my own, and were not made out of fear of condemnation. (It’s just a pretty good album).

Liam Fleming

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