MercyMe’s rendition of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” is ambitious, yet somehow still simple. I think it has something to do with the spare guitar at the beginning, and the fidelity to the traditional melody, at least on the verses. The choruses are a multi-layered construction that manages not to seem out of place or overwhelm. Their entire Christmas Sessions album is full of songs like this, where the orchestral accompaniment fills without supplanting the vocals (just take another listen to God Rest Ye, or particularly Joseph’s Lullaby).
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