Sasha Sloan - “Only Child” Review

Story posted October 23, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu

After releasing three EPs and experience writing for big artists such as Katy Perry, Camila Cabello, and John Legend, singer-songwriter Sasha Sloan finally dropped her debut album, “Only Child,” on Oct. 16.

In the album, Sloan discusses her fears, hopes, dreams and identity through a series of 10 songs. Each track dives deeper into Sloan’s mind where she paints a vivid picture in the listeners’ head with her lush voice, poignant storytelling and dreamy production.

The album didn’t really have a climax point, instead, each song tells a unique story of its own. Sloan started the album with “Matter To You,” a bittersweet ballad where she talks about how love can change one’s feeling of insignificance in the universe.

There are also some darker songs on the album. The title track, “Only Child,” talks about the loneliness of being an only child. Sloan imagines what it’s like to have a brother or a sister and how she would’ve grown up to be if she had someone else. 

“House with No Mirrors” discusses Sloan’s past dealing with eating disorders and self-image, featuring heartbreaking lyrics like, “If I lived in a house with no mirrors/Where the walls didn't pick me apart/Maybe my skin would be thicker.” 

“Lie” was the lead single for the album. The song stands out from the rest of the album because of the upbeat sound matching with the somber lyrics. The song is about two people stuck in a relationship, and they’d rather lie to each other than leaving.

Another stand out track from the album is “Santa’s Real.” In the song, Sloan sings about how she wishes to go back to a time where things are more innocent. It is lyrically one of the strongest moments on the album as it captures the loss of innocence, and the language is really relatable.

“Cause I thought monsters lived under the bed/ That’s before I knew they walk the streets instead” could easily be the most poetic lines from the whole album.

“Only Child” began in a bittersweet tone, and then Sloan took the listeners on an emotional journey through the album before ending it with “High School Me.” In the song, Sloan expresses that, at the end of the day after all the pain and trauma, she’s still proud of the person she is today.

The last line of the album echoes “Wish I could go back, tell her it's okay.”

Sloan’s journey of discovery is the biggest achievement in “Only Child.” She talked about her past demons of having eating disorders, living as an only child and being bullied in school — and in the end that she’s proud of the person she became.

“Only Child” is a lyrical masterpiece and a great accomplishment for Sloan’s debut album.
Although the album only has 10 songs, Sloan filled every single moment with universal themes, strong storytelling and vivid imagery. The simple production choice made the lyrics and Sloan’s quiet yet calming voice stand out.


Rating: 8/10
Reviewers favorite songs: “Santa’s Real,” “Lie,” and “Is it Just Me”
Reviewers least favorite songs: N/A

Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu is a senior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jfl5603@psu.edu.