New Criticals

Anyway, no other song on Treats is as salivated over. Most reviews from its original release mention it – the word "standout" occurs more than once even in a cursory Google search – and when I used to mourn this fact to tasteful friends, they'd stick up for it as one of their own favorites. Which, fine: they're all crazy and I'm right. But the fact that this is the ONLY Sleigh Bells cut on a list of 200 songs released since 2010 – and, indeed, the only mention of Sleigh Bells at all, as the Best Albums list left them off entirely in favor of a nice hunk of nonsense (Ariel Pink whut???) – feels almost revisionist, like sanding down the more interesting parts of a musical output that, and this is rare, was hugely successful and had real, actual rough edges. If we must take the historical perspective on years from which I probably still have unfinished crosswords lying around the house, what was important about Sleigh Bells was not that they at one point flirted with millenial easy-listening. Any chump can do that, and many more will. Treats was something different: better and weirder, more beautiful and garish. It didn't go where the action was. It made the action come to it, and bent pop music to its demented, blown-out will.