Frank Ocean cuts loose on ‘Sweet Life’

By , Jul 9 2012

Frank Ocean’s decision to discuss his sexuality last week unleashed a welter of considered statements, thinkpieces, web chatter and, less palatably, gossip.

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.


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