Review: Yaya Bey’s ‘The Things I Can’t Take With Me’ is a vulnerable work of art

Yaya Bey is an R&B musician from New York. (Courtesy of Rolling Stone)Yaya Bey is an R&B musician from New York. (Courtesy of Rolling Stone)

Jada Hester, Correspondent

“The Things I Can’t Take With Me” is an open, vulnerable album self-produced by Yaya Bey, an R&B musician from New York.

Full of relaxed guitar and effortless vocal harmonies, this EP is meant to be a filler in between albums — a way of releasing Bey’s negative emotions that she can’t bring along with her on her music career.

The album flows well as any R&B album should as Bey sings about letting go of a bad relationship and being a better person in the future. 

In “we’ll skate soon,” she says, “If it’s me or her / If you don’t feel you / We can’t do that s*** for you.” 

Other songs, like “f*** it then,” are breakup anthems meant to make you feel powerful. Even with only six songs on the EP, Bey still manages to make you experience what it feels like to be post-breakup. 

Arguably the best track on the album is the final one, “industry love / a protection spell.” 

While this song also talks of Bey’s toxic ex, the track changes pace abruptly in the middle, almost as though an entirely new song has begun. From a quick guitar rhythm to a gentle and slow tempo, Bey croons, “Nothing formed against me / Not even you, baby.” 

Perhaps the most wonderful thing about “The Things I Can’t Take With Me” is how exposed but free Bey sounds. This album really was a way for the musician to release the negativity in her life. 

Her soothing voice and the guitar strumming in the background are enough to make anyone relax, even just for a moment. Bey has proven that an album doesn’t need to be long to hold significance. 

If “The Things I Can’t Take With Me” is anything to go by, we’ll all be waiting impatiently for Yaya Bey’s future album.

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