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
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.