Take a big voice that is similar to Cece Winans, Naima, Adele and Lauren Daigle, mix it with some honestly heartfelt songs and you get Helen Yousaf‘s new album, Custodians of Fire. Helen’s powerful voice is a force with which to be reckoned. Hailing from Romford, England, United Kingdom, or East London for those not in the know, Helen Yousaf is a bright spot in a historically rough town. Jesus has a tendency to out some really bright lights in some dark places. Helen’s voice is overflowing with heart, conviction and has the ability to portray some tender moments.
Custodians of Fire begins with “High Horse” an intimately personal song about pride. While it uses some mildly strong language, it rides in the consequences of sin effectively. Helen’s thick London accent is most noticeable on this first song, which may take an unaccustomed ear a bit to adjust. The title track “Custodians of Fire” is a soaring gospel track, mixing contemporary waves of sound with a marching rock beat underneath. At points, Helen gets a bit shouty, but most of the time, stays within the full gale force of power and hints at a softer side of her voice. We find tender moments from Helen in “I Pitch My Tent,” “Take it All,” and “Generous Father.” There’s a beauty and intimacy when Helen relies on creating emotion balancing power and frailty. While, it seems like the oompf that Helen pushes out behind the soaring ballads is a bit overdone, at times, it’s something that can be tamed with some extra vocal training.
Custodians of Fire is Helen’s fourth release and a venture into a definitive gospel realm, stretching her vocally and showing a much different side. I think eventually, this genre of Christian music will suit her well as she evolves into a mature singer. Luckily for us, we don’t have to wait, because Custodians of Fire is a solid album and worth listening to as it is. It hints at the promise of an outstanding singer, while ministering to the listener of God’s goodness.
Helen Yousaf is from Romford, England, UK, has two daughters, and has been married over twenty years to her husband. She is part of Elim ministries.
Previous Releases from Helen Yousaf