Ocean – and we’re sure he’d be happy for us to stress this point – is a musician rather than an activist; it would be a shame if his act of (quite startling) bravery came to dwarf his talents in the public imagination. A new Channel Orange track, titled ‘Sweet Life’, emerged over the weekend, and it’s a nimble cut that’s perfectly primed to redress the balance.
‘Sweet Life’ is a ballad about the joys of obfuscation. Ocean takes pills in order to “keep it surreal”, and swears “My TV ain’t HD, that’s too real”. The track is a collaboration with Pharrell Williams, and his presence is difficult to miss: ‘Sweet Life’ doesn’t skimp on the meandering E.piano lines, lounge touches and ersatz horns. After last week’s chin-stroking, Ocean’s message seems to be, simply, “why worry?” – or, in his words, “Why see the world when you got the beach?” [via The Fader]
Ocean’s guest-heavy debut proper Channel Orange arrives on July 17.