Joshua Bassett’s ‘Sad Songs In A Hotel Room’ EP Review
Article by Kristine Pascual
Photos by Luke M Rogers
Singer-songwriter and actor Joshua Bassett released his new pop EP, “Sad Songs In A Hotel Room,” on Sept. 23. Its six songs captivate the sadness and pain Bassett went through during a dark time in his life regarding his breakups and the ups and downs of fame. His candor is refreshing and each song is personal in its own way, revealing new parts of Bassett that he has not previously shared.
1. “Sad Songs In A Hotel Room”
The first track shares the same title as the EP, “Sad Songs In A Hotel Room.” Right from the start, Bassett reminisces about his time with an ex partner. He sings about their memories in a hotel room just a year before, upset about where their situation ended up. This EP starts off strong with the best song placed at the start. Accompanied by the soft strums of an acoustic guitar, Bassett’s voice is gentle and sorrowful as he copes with his relationship’s outcome, wondering where it all went wrong and what could have been done differently.
The second track, “LA,” revolves around Bassett’s experience being young and famous in the star studded city of Los Angeles as it deals with the ups and downs of fame. He agrees with what most have to say: Living in LA is exciting but emotionally draining and hectic. In a city where almost everyone wants to climb the social ladder, it’s almost a given to have a fabricated personality. This topic is not anything extraordinary, just another song about the downsides of being a young celebrity in the midst of an industry that is known to be toxic. This track is definitely outshined by the others on this EP. Bassett opens the song softly, singing, “I just gotta get out of LA / I’ve been thinkin’ of runnin’ away,” later continuing, “Everyone comes here / But nobody leaves / Yeah, we’re all only actors / No one’s actually happy.” Lyrics like these illustrate Bassett’s doubts living and working in LA. While the city has contributed to much of his success, the transactional and disingenuous relationships there are a heavy burden to bear.
3. “Used To It”
This track opens with piano, giving off a melancholy feeling. Yet, the song ends up being one of the catchier amongst the six. Bassett reveals how he feels about his breakup, singing about its one-sided nature; he felt as if he put in more effort than his partner, which negatively affected his perception of the relationship. As he sings, “I guess I got used to it,” the tempo picks up into something more upbeat. Although his relationship seemed to have been toxic, he held on anyways. He sings, “Stab me in the back and I’m the one who’s sayin’ sorry again.” He recognizes his mistakes and reflects later on, “blames it on [them] being kids.”
4. “Smoke Slow”
This track is one of the weaker ones in regards to lyricism. Bassett’s voice is gentle, contrasting the gloomy bluntness of lyrics like, “Is it naive to think we could work?” The beat gets faster and picks up during the chorus of the song. Honestly, the lines are cheesy and nothing unique, so Bassett definitely has room for improvement as a songwriter. Lines such as, “Next to you, but I’ll never be close” and “All that we are is all that we’ll ever be” are to the point, but could have been written in a more poetic manner.
In “Lifeline,” Bassett is telling listeners a story. He dedicated this song to his mom after his unexpected hospitalization last year where he experienced heart failure, according to Billboard. Throughout the entire journey, his mom was right by his side. Bassett sounds best in this track as it seems to have been written for his voice. His authenticity shines through in vulnerable lyrics, including, “I can’t do this on my own / So try not to cry / I won’t say goodbye just yet / So hold onto my hand.” The chorus goes, “Don’t you know you’re my lifeline?” Here, Bassett’s voice sounds deeper and more heartfelt than in other songs.
6. “All In Due Time”
The final track, “All In Due Time,” is the perfect way to close the EP, as it leaves listeners hopeful that things get better over time. Initially, Bassett asks, “Is all of this pain just for nothin’?” While he doesn’t have the answers now, he believes that one day he will find them. Over soft guitar, he sings, “And maybe I’ll say at the end of the day / Who I am made it all worth the while,” suggesting that everything will be OK in due time. The perfect track to close the EP, Bassett understands that he is still young and has a lot more to look forward to in life as his career grows.
Overall, “Sad Songs In A Hotel Room” is short and sweet, with its songs serving as a raw and honest interpretation of how Bassett’s life has changed since entering the spotlight. The topics Bassett covers are a bit repetitive, and nothing new in the music industry. Nevertheless, the pop songs are catchy. Bassett still has much room for improvement, and there is clear potential in him. The EP is simple and straightforward, a complete opposite of what it is to be famous in the weird land of LA.