Frank Ocean returned the focus to his music this week with the Pharrell Williams produced “Sweet Life,” the second taster from his quickly landmarking debut studio album, Channel Orange. The song’s lounge-jazz soundscape is textbook Skateboard P, its greasy sonics complimenting the track’s lyrical swag something delicious, which is equally evocative of sun-drenched landscapes inhabited by 80s drug barons:

You’ve had a landscaper and a house keeper since you were born
The sunshine always kept you warm
So why see the world, when you got the beach
Don’t know why see the world, when you got the beach
The sweet life

Though the song is far from complimentary of this “domesticated paradise.” Instead, Ocean deftly denounces those who indulge in materialism in an attempt to escape the harsh realities of the real world. Even if that means missing out on HD TV:

But you’re keepin’ it surreal, whatever you like
Whatever feels good, whatever takes you mountain high
Keepin’ it surreal, not sugar-free, my tv ain’t HD, that’s too real
Grapevines, mango, peaches, and lime, a sweet life

Considering last week’s news, everyone will be undoubtedly rummaging for references to Frank’s former relationships. And while a seed of personal dialogue is planted when he compares an ex-lover to a choice album cut – “The best song wasn’t the single, but you weren’t either” – the song ultimately stands to reaffirm Ocean’s ability to tell riveting stories from arm’s length, in this case, about how the “sweet life” isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. But the song sure is.