Despite its wry opening lines — “The best song wasn’t the single / And neither were you” — Frank Ocean’s just-leaked “Sweet Love” bears a strong resemblance to a revered 1973 ballad: “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” which Stevie Wonder penned at age 23.
First with the nine-minute, suite-changing “Pyramids,” and then with a two-paragraph text detailing his first love (“4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too.”), Ocean, 24, continues to raise anticipation for his proper Def Jam debut Channel Orange. Over mild, coffee-shop-appropriate keys, the Pharrell collaboration “Sweet Love” addresses a Los Angeles County resident struck with wanderlust but also immersed in both pools and pills — “keeping it surreal,” Ocean says. The Odd Future member recently told the New York Times that he hopes to move soon, from Los Angeles to New York or the car-friendlier Toronto. But for now, and yet again, Ocean flexes his biggest strength: His ability to transport listeners to unfamiliar realms and honest memories in mere minutes.
Channel Orange is out July 17 on Def Jam. Stream “Sweet Love” below: