Yaya Bey - Remember Your North Star Music Album Reviews

Yaya Bey - Remember Your North Star Music Album Reviews
The prismatic, outstanding new album from the Brooklyn singer-songwriter moves gracefully through jazz, R&B, soul, and reggae. It’s a searching and specific exploration of connection, pain, and desire.

On Remember Your North Star, the resplendent new album from the Brooklyn singer-songwriter Yaya Bey, scenes of heartache and joy are both glimpsed through a prismatic lens. Bey’s blend of R&B, soul, and jazz is bound together by the specificity of her lyrics, which recount conversational stories of sex and breakups and lend vivid color to her music. Following her breakthrough Madison Tapes LP and introspective The Things I Can’t Take With Me EP, Bey has crystallized her sound into one of the most dazzling albums of the year. The multifaceted music of Remember Your North Star lingers with somatic force, depicting the collision of thoughts, troubles, and desires of a Black woman searching for connection. It’s a powerful statement of purpose that resists easy answers, instead swirling through Bey’s mind as she looks for them herself.

Bey has described Remember Your North Star as a “thesis,” a way to center Black womanhood while working through the misogynoir that occurs in their romantic relationships. “I saw a tweet that said, ‘Black women have never seen healthy love or have been loved in a healthy way,’” she said in a statement. “That’s a deep wound for us. Then I started to think about our responses to that as Black women.” In practice, those ideas manifest in expressionistic songs largely produced by Bey herself that consider the traumas inflicted by misogyny, often by drawing on her own experiences of depression and familial turmoil. Moving through jazz, R&B, soul, and reggae with a dancer’s careful sense of balance, Remember Your North Star’s themes are rooted in the desire to be loved and wanted, with rich, detailed traces of autobiography folded in throughout.

Bey has worked within ideological frameworks before—2016’s The Many Alter-Egos of Trill’eta Brown explored similar ideas, inspired partially by Audre Lorde’s concept of biomythography, a style that merges history, biography, and myth. Remember Your North Star refines that conscientiousness into a sharpened blade. “I am the daughter of a girl/Who could go missing/For seven years/Thirty-one years/And the world wouldn’t skip a beat,” she opens in a scratchy vocal filter on the spoken-word interlude “i’m certain she’s there,” an ode to her mother, landing an instant gut punch on generational trauma. Bey also revisits the soul-crushing grind of working a nine-to-five that she scrutinized on Madison Tapes, picking apart capitalism’s sway over her circumstances. “Ain’t nobody tell me it’d be like this,” she sings in a lilting flow on the mellow “nobody knows,” going on to pin down a recognizable frame of mind for millennials across the country: “I done worked my whole life and I still ain’t rich.”

Bey’s focus on the past adds depth and context to Remember Your North Star’s stories about the relationships in her life today. Vacillating between come-ons and teardowns, her stances are always moving. On the woozy “don’t fucking call me,” as she ruminates on post-breakup loneliness in an airy upper register, she describes a toughened sense of adoration for a challenging lover: “​​Love you like cooked food, baby, you’s a meal,” her pitch-shifted voice chants, “Only cost a few gray hairs/That’s a steal.” She constantly shifts into different modes of lyrical and vocal expression, each one more poetic and surprising than the last. “keisha” is a masterclass in melody, adopting the swagger of R&B’s greatest shit-talkers while retaining Bey’s coolheaded style. The song’s washed-out guitar melody and drums open up into a sunny beat for the instantly memorable, sprightly chorus: “The pussy so, so good and you still don’t love me,” she sings, braiding confidence and vulnerability into one.

The oscillation between moods reflects Bey’s mind, jumping from one thought to the next as quickly as she changes flows. Even the album’s sparer elements—a looseness of form and structure, the textural and lo-fi production on songs like “street fighter blues” and the dubby “meet me in brooklyn”—are in service of amplifying her words. Bey's approach to creating a thesis is freeform and conversational; she doesn’t hand you a roadmap, instead establishing a mutual trust that her listeners will understand her more deeply than that.

For all of the hardships and complexities she’s working through, Bey also knows there’s no pain without joy. The album expands her scope toward more upbeat production, turning Remember Your North Star into an engaging, shapeshifting listen that places it among other recent R&B albums that pull from neo-soul and hip-hop for experimental spare parts. “Pour Up” takes her to the dancefloor, where she and Washington, D.C. producer DJ Nativesun envision a hedonistic night out with a thick bassline and a thudding beat. She sounds as natural in a raucous setting as she does on the smoky standout “alright,” where her tempestuous modulations attain a dreamy weightlessness. Here, her message snaps into focus, creating a mantra-like salve over breezy, rolling percussion and keys. “Don’t it feel like love is on the way?” Bey ponders, turning the question into a passionate affirmation for Black women in every walk of life. Remember Your North Star assures that working through messy emotions and behaviors—whether inherited or learned—is integral to receiving and giving love. With her deft voice and casual rhythms, Bey makes the process sound freeing.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Yaya Bey - Remember Your North Star Music Album Reviews Yaya Bey - Remember Your North Star Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on June 25, 2022 Rating: 5


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