CD Review: December (Mercy’s Well)
Average Song Rating: 3.3 (of 5)
Producer: Donna Beauvais.
Song List: O Come, O Come Emmanuel; Good Christian Men Rejoice / God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; Who is He in Yonder Stall?; Go Tell It on the Mountain; The Birthday of the King; The Little Drummer Boy; Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee / Joy To The World; Some Children See Him; Beautiful Star of Bethlehem; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing / Hallelujah Chorus; Oh Holy Night / All is Well.
Available from: Artist.
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Mercy’s Well has been making their mark toward the moderately progressive end of Southern Gospel. After the success of their most recent CD, Hymns: Stories For Life, Stories That Live, when the group made the decision to record a Christmas CD, they decided to take it in a similar direction.
December: Hymns Where the Story Began features eleven songs and medleys. Most of the songs are traditional Christmas carols and hymns; “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” is a nod to the group’s Southern Gospel heritage and “Some Children See Him” is a newer number.
The project was arranged and produced by Donna Beauvais and group member Brad Strider (tenor). The arrangements are enjoyable and innovative, in that order. One can expect that a Mercy’s Well project will have innovative arrangements, and this one does not disappoint, but the arrangements avoid the trap of trying so hard to be innovative that they miss the point of first being enjoyable.
The instrumentation, with most of the tracks being predominantly or solely piano. Cello and light percussion complement several tracks.
While some of Mercy’s Well’s earlier efforts have tended to appeal the most to progressive Southern Gospel music fans, December is a project that can be enjoyed by any Southern Gospel fan.