Bubbling Under the Top 75

Frank Ocean - "Sweet Life"

by PopMatters Staff

15 December 2012


Frank Ocean
Sweet Life

A full appreciation of “Sweet Life” required it to be coupled with “Super Rich Kids”. Together, both tracks represent Frank Ocean’s fish-eyed lens into the dark lives of LA’s privileged youth. Twenty-five years old now, Ocean spent part of his formative years in Ladera Heights (“the black Beverly Hills”, as he puts it) during American economic prosperity, and his lurid tales of drugged-out days spent lazing at swimming pools perfectly reconstruct this pre-occupy generation feelings of unadulterated boredom and vapid existence. If these feelings of disillusionment with wealth seem vulgar to today’s new-age idealists, it’s still impossible not to be seduced by “Sweet Life’s” smooth arrangement. With its wandering keys, jazzy chords and raucous synth-soaked chorus, this is the most precise example of the comparisons to Stevie Wonder that Ocean has occasionally attracted. Dean Van Nguyen

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