I think that Merrill and, to a lesser degree, Peerce do rather well for that kind of recording. It's not meant to be a cast recording, it's not meant to be theatrical. Even though Merrill was never considered much of an actor in opera, I think he had a better feel than most opera singers for American popular music. In fact, there are times when I'm really surprised at how well he lightens his approach on that recording. Unfortunately, he's also prone to some sloppiness, and extra takes might have been helpful on a couple of the songs he sings. His final consonants sometimes virtually disappear. Despite that, I am impressed with how well he does generally. If not for the awful chorus, his "They Call the Wind Maria" would rival the best. And on "The Heather on the Hill" in particular he also lightens his voice very well, not oversinging, letting the words come through with simplicity.