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The pope goes on record

Take heart, Blenders, your Christmas shopping problems have been solved in one swoop.

Pope Benedict XVI has signed a record deal, for an album to be released this November. He will be singing lead vocals.

Raymond Arroyo, “news” anchor of the Catholic cable channel EWTN, has been touting this incessantly for the last few days. So never mind lumps of coal for your enemies. You know what to put in their Christmas stockings this year.

NOTE FROM PAM: It's not a joke

“Geffen Records, whose roster of stars has included Guns n' Roses, Elton John, Donna Summer, and Snoop Dogg,” said Mark Brown in the London Guardian, has just “signed a new artist—Pope Benedict XVI.” The album, Alma Mater, will feature “his holiness” singing a Marian prayer and speaking Lauretan Litanies in various languages, accompanied by eight original pieces of modern classical music, and it's scheduled to be “released in time for the Christmas rush.”

The Pope could easily be “a contender” for the No. 1 Christmas album, said Ben Hoyle in the London Times Online. “He is a debut artist with an established global following,” and if his album “connects to even a small percentage of the world's billion Catholics it should blow the likes of Jay-Z, Robbie Williams, and Susan Boyle from Britain's Got Talent out of the water in the race for end of year sales.”

And this, from Beliefnet:

If you can't do, teach. And if you can't sing, make a Christmas album. The latter adage has been proven again by the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI will join Regis Philbin, Colonel Sanders, and The Brady Bunch in releasing his own Yuletide recording. In announcing the disc, an executive at Geffen Records, which will release the record Nov. 30th, said, “''The Pope has got almost a lullaby tone to the way he sings.'' Even when you're talking about an 84-year-old theologian, that's pretty faint praise.

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