The Clark Brothers
We Need Your Love
Rooted in legacy and quality, the name ‘Clark’ never fails to generate interest and enthusiasm in Gospel circles (and beyond). Producer: Larry Clark
album release date: Fall, 2000
Larry, Lorenzo and Derrick Clark are the grandsons of Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, and the sons of Denise Clark. New to the recording scene, but first formed in 1985 and reunited since 1996, The Clark Brothers bring their Detroit-rooted, jazzed melodies and harmonies to the fore with We Need Your Love, on their own label, Grace & Mercy Music Group.
They describe their music as “hard to define”, and it’s true. Clark influences are evident of course, with their flair for vocal improvisation, but the overall sound of this project is very much their own, with often-busy vocal lines and flurries of band splashes from start to finish. Larry Clark writes the lion’s share of the eleven tracks, and produces the project with studio engineering assists from both brothers and also from Billy Meadows, Jason Kuehn and Chris Poole.
A subtle footnote in the liner notes says, “for best results, play this product loud”. That’s great advice for cuts such as “Trust Him”. It starts the project off with the brothers acknowledging that walking by faith in God is the only way for them. Larry Clark’s tenor lead brings out the fluctuating melody, with unison chorus punctuating and guitar from Reggie McTaw accenting.
“I Don’t Understand” is another up tempo creation that makes its mark with the patterned and resonant tones of the Clark voices.
Twinkie Clark’s famous vocals make a guest appearance on “The Righteous”, joining with her nephew Larry to duet on this busy, jazzy number that hones in lyrically on the righteous enduring the storms of life, if they will only lean on Jesus. This, and the acappella treatment of the too-brief “My Soul Loves Jesus” are project highlights.
At a slower tempo, “I’ve Got The Victory” delivers a nearly quiet storm vibe, with the respected Dana Davis supplementing with synths, and Fender Rhodes and organ from Kevin Williams laying the foundation for the vocals. “Heaven My Home” is another slow burn, with drawn out chorus and Larry’s smoothed out lead melting the message into his melange of chimes and keys.
The closing cut, “The Road To Salvation”, is a simple and powerful combination of song and scriptural recitation from Lorenzo, Larry and Derrick, with organ accompaniment only.
It’s just the right conclusion to a satisfying project.
Grace & Mercy Music Group
reviewed by Stan North —
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