REVIEW: Riley Harrison Clark – Welcome to Me

Record Label:
 Daywind Records

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Gospel Music is blessed with a variety of talented, singers, songwriters, and musicians. Back in 2010, a talented singer joined the Tribute Quartet as their tenor vocalist. Riley Harrison Clark has been encouraging fans and delighting listeners for 8 and ½ years having gained acclaim in the Southern Gospel industry. Riley Harrison Clark has stepped out to record his first solo project entitled, ‘Welcome to Me.’ Here we take a look at one of Gospel Music’s favorite tenor vocalists and experience the style that encapsulates Riley Harrison Clark’s soul and heart.

With a title like “Welcome to Me”, Riley Harrison Clark quickly explains to listeners how the project shows what has molded and prepared him for the journey he is on right now. The lyrics throughout the project speak of hope and peace in the most trying circumstances. The concept of an ever-loving Savior chasing us relentlessly and wanting nothing but the best for us is prevalent in tunes like “Still” and “You Will Be Found.” The intriguing arrangement for the latter tune shows the emotional of Riley’s journey as a means of hope for the listener. Riley has spoken frequently about his battle with anxiety and depression, but this tune gives great hope for the lonely and the discouraged listener.

Although the project deals with the spiritual warfare in this life, ‘Welcome to Me’ gives more moments of reflection on God’s goodness through tunes like “Glory to Glory” and “Remember His Faithfulness.” Keeping in line with the musical style of the project, the more worshipful tunes appear like the styles of modern worship music. Some may describe the sound as typical, but the worshipful moments balance the dark and light aspects of the recording.

Throughout ‘Welcome to Me’, Riley Harrison Clark continues to remain relevant to the reality of emotional struggles in spiritual warfare. There are so many examples of depression and anxiety closeted in church, concert stages, and auditoriums throughout this country. Riley Harrison Clark explores these themes with honesty and confidence. Though not a traditional Southern-Gospel-style solo recording, ‘Welcome to Me’ gives listeners an honest look into the life of someone fighting ordinary, everyday battles – a relevance that transcends any preferred style of music. Well-paced arrangements blended with passionate vocals render ‘Welcome to Me’ a must-listen.

Personal Favorites: “Still”, “I Surrender”, “You Will Be Found”, “Running down My Fear”, and “Then He Opened His arms”

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Andrew Stephens

Andrew hails from Anderson, SC and has lived here all 25 years of his life. As a child, he attended concerts in the area and instantly became hooked on the concept of Southern Gospel music. His music collection has expanded to over 1,000 artist recordings as well as several compilations (including record label & radio promotions comps). For a couple of years or so, Andrew hosted a blog, "Southern Gospel Review", and did articles ranging from specialty (Hits of the Past), album reviews (CD, DVD, & Vinyl), and other interesting tidbits (recording oddities, etc.).
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