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Album Review: Do You Hear What I Hear? (single)
Matt Johnson
Cover image of the album Do You Hear What I Hear? (single) by Matt Johnson
Do You Hear What I Hear? (single)
Matt Johnson
2020 / Dolce & Nuit Productions
5 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Matt Johnson’s new version of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” is a contemporary Christmas classic with a brand-new melody and harmonies. It also completes a trilogy of similarly re-envisioned carols (the other two songs are “The NEW Silent Night” and “O Holy Night”). Heidi Enders sings the original lyrics on all three recordings, and her clear, beautiful voice soothes as it tells the story of each song. Accompanying instrumentation includes piano, keyboard, and subtle atmospheric sounds that bring feelings of grace and peace while allowing the listener to focus on the lyrics. I really like the way Matt has woven some snippets of the original melody into his own! In his “composer notes,” Matt says: “The lyrics from this holiday favorite are now wrapped inside a new harmonic box and surrounded by a silky-smooth, melodic ribbon.”

One of the newer Christmas standards, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” was composed in 1962 with lyrics by Noel Regney and music by Gloria Shayne. The song was originally recorded by the Harry Simeone Chorale and released in 1962, but it was Bing Crosby’s version, released as a single in 1963, that became a classic. The song has been recorded by literally hundreds of artists since then, but this is likely the only version with the words set to a new melody.

Matt Johnson generously offers free downloads of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” (and his many other recordings and sheet music!) from MattJohnsonMusic.com. You can also download a performance/accompaniment track without the vocals and sheet music with both the piano accompaniment and the vocal parts in the keys of Bb and C from Matt’s site for free.

It’s always nice to hear a new take on a favorite Christmas song and Matt’s “shiny new version” is a lovely gift for the 2020 holidays and beyond.
August 26, 2020