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Get Behind Me Satan

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

White Stripes ~ Get Behind Me Satan


Their fifth album, Get Behind Me Satan is the strangest and least focused effort by these unlikely garage rock superstars to date. It's also their finest, an Exile on Main Street-ish mish-mash where the sum is greater than the parts. In a market increasingly driven by singles and downloads, it's nice to be reminded how exciting an album can be, especially one where you really don't know what to expect next. There are a lot fewer pounding guitars on this album. They've largely been replaced by pounding pianos. Most songs sound like rough mixes at first; almost every song has something exceptionally loud in the mix--the guitar solo in "The Nurse," the drums in "Doorbell," everything in "Blue Orchid." After a few listens, however, it becomes clear that the group is not using the studio as an instrument so much as exposing the nuts and bolts in the process along the way.

There are some duds; the wanky blooze-rawk number "Instinct Blues" goes on way too long and it would be nice if "The Nurse" had a real chorus. Whether "Passive Manipulation" is about the wife-or-sister schtick, if the cover artwork indeed has Jack and Meg calling each other devils, and which scripture is referred to by the album's title (Matthew, Mark or Luke?): none of that matters so much as the fact that this album is strangely sprawling and obliquely ass-kicking at the same time. "Orchid" is a rockdisko sonic smash that shows how to really get rock kids on the dancefloor. Meanwhile, "Doorbell" sounds enough like the Jackson Five to totally rule, and "Forever for Her" is the best ballad Jack's written in years. The fact that some marimbas provide the driving force to "Forever" makes it all the better. --Mike McGonigal

1. Blue Orchid
2. The Nurse
3. My Doorbell
4. Forever For Her (Is Over For Me)
5. Little Ghost
6. The Denial Twist
7. White Moon
8. Instinct Blues
9. Passive Manipulation
10. Take, Take, Take
11. As Ugly As I Seem
12. Red Rain
13. I'm Lonely (But I Ain't That Lonely Yet)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 7, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: V2
  • ASIN: B00097A5H2
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (433 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,897 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Source: All Music Guide

The White Stripes formed on Bastille Day in 1997, aiming to create simple, vigorous rock & roll with little more than Meg White's percussion and Jack White's guitar-and-vocal attack. Meg's drumming was deliberate and straightforward, while Jack's formidable guitar skills paid homage to garage rock, blues, and punk. A former drummer for the ... Read more in Amazon's The White Stripes Store

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

235 of 256 people found the following review helpful By Alan Pounds on June 8, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This album will make or break a "true" White Stripes fan. The change is HUGE, and I'm certainly not complaining. I'm happy that The White Stripes have the balls to constantly experiment and bring something new to the table, time and time again. Most notably, casual fans are going to miss Jack's wailing guitar solos and time signatures. His artistic vision is channeled through piano, marimba, tambourine, and acoustic guitar (although their is some electric guitar lurking around in the mix). While other bands try to replicate the magic of their freshman debut, The White Stripes are busy honing their skill, creating music that has soul, feeling, and ideas (all executed within a 2 week recording session). This subsequently feels like a retreat to their "little room" from the staggering success of "Elephant". They've locked the door and threw away the key to make whatever they see fit, which merits even more respect. Screw the bigwigs, the "true" fans want to hear a intimate recording by these two creative forces, which is exactly what they brought us.

The first cut "Blue Orchid" is a thrilling metal number, reminiscent of past material, but still different. By the end of that song, they slip back into their little room to stun listeners throughout the rest of the record. "The Nurse" is very experimental. Meg's drums sound like a series of explosions over Jack's piano and marimba, along with his soft lyrical delivery. But I have to say, it's "My Doorbell" that sinks it's hook into you. It's a little reminiscent of the "Hotel Yorba" days, with Jack's quick, happy go lucky lyrics. It's actually very catchy, and stands in stark contrast to the previous cuts. Up next is "Forever for Her (Is Over for Me)" where Jack sings ever so passionately. It's one of the most well written songs on the album.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Matthew T. Parrish on June 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Good-bye to the casual fan; hello new sound. The White Stripes got popular with simple, catchy, and very creative songs. From De Stijl, to White Blood Cells, to Elephant, their popularity skyrocketed as their songs and albums got better and better. As everyone could tell, their style peaked at Elephant. So, I was expecting to be disappointed by Get Behind Me Satan because how could it be better than Elephant?

I was wrong. Like David Bowie with Aladdin Sane (after Ziggy Stardust), The White Stripes did not try to best Elephant, they altered their style and have written their best and most intricate songs yet. In short, they took a step back and sideways to go forward.

Just pick a great song. "Red Rain" is Jack White's most creative song to date and it's melodic in the most interesting way. "The Nurse," with it's seemingly random but calculated guitar crunches and it's purposeful lack of a real chorus, it has all the elements of great indie rock. "Take Take Take" is an off-rhythm harmony that's probably the best melody in the White Stripes catalogue.

You've heard the White Stripes go country before, but on "Little Ghost" Jack pushes to bluegrass and still makes it work. The textures and layering of the song are beautiful. "My Doorbell" is probably the song that is most representative of their former style on this album. It's simple, catchy, and funny. "As Ugly as I Seem" has great transitions and the patient notes come off perfectly.

After an album of experimentation and great results, the White Stripes have all the credibility they need to write a traditional closing song which is still really good anyway. Even when they write formulaic songs they elevate above the formula.

This album cements the White Stripes as a classic rock band. Without hesitation, I'd put them and Radiohead up there with The Doors, Pink Floyd, R.E.M., Nirvana, and so forth.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Newbie on June 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I have now listened to this album all the way through 2 times and I must say it's fantastic. I think The White Stripes are the best rock band of our time and the fact that every album they produce sounds distinctly different from their last is very refreshing.

I noticed that most of the people who dislike this album say something like "But Elephant blah, blah, blah", get over it, this album is not Elephant. And to be honest Elephant was my least favorite album, it sounded to polished and really lacked the rawness that you could hear in De Stijl or White Blood Cells.

If you are only familiar with The White Stripes through Elephant this album may not be the best choice for you, however if you really liked all of their other albums then you probably have some understanding of what kind of band they are and would like Get Behind Me Satan.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dane A. Bono on June 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Absolutely floored by the new album. I'll preface this by saying that if you are expecting a redux of Elephant, you will be disappointed. If you're open to new sounds, new influences, you're going to love this. Get Behind Me Satan is the White Stripes "Rubber Soul" or, to appease those who cry blasphemy at such a comparison, "Led Zeppelin III," a transition from the songs and structures we as fans have become familar with to a new, unchartered and experimental territory. And it works wonderfully. There are no more than four "guitar" songs on the new album in the typical White Stripes style. The majority of the songs are based on piano, with a few (most notable "The Nurse")on marimba and maracas. But make no mistake- this is not an album of humdrum piano ballads. Meg White's primal drumming is the link between the classic guitar heroics and blues chords and the new, progressive markings of this album. Several songs ("Little Ghost") also hint at Jack's recent work with Loretta Lynn, for which both received Grammy nominations.

A friend asked me to describe the album- the best that I could say is that, it sounds like no other White Stripes album, but by the same token, no one besides The White Stripes could make this. While the guitars take a back seat, make no mistakes- this is a WHITE STRIPES album- and their finest to date.
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