Sledgehammer-pop duo Sleigh Bells visited the BBC recently, and as one tends to do when one visits the hallowed British broadcasting institution, they laid down a cover—of Beyoncé’s breezy kiss-off “Irreplaceable.” The combined moxie of Beyoncé and Sleigh Bells frontwoman Alexis Krauss should result in fireworks, right? Well, not so much; Krauss sighs her way through the song, turning her voice into a mew that sounds like she was trying to sing along with the radio while not being heard by her roommates or anyone else outside of a six-inch radius. (Also, some of the guitar chords are a bit off.) It’s not Karmin-level offensive, but it’s sorta disappointing.
Obviously I don’t always have a problem with music that falls on the twee side. But given that Sleigh Bells’ strength lies in their ability to turnpop songs up as loud as humanly possible and let it rip, the limpness of this cover bums me out—and turns the song’s braggadocio into something more ironic, a lonely bedroom sigh heaved while staring at a Facebook status update announcing that an ex has changed his status to something other than “Single.” Perhaps “Countdown” would have been a better choice?