Get Behind Me Satan

Get Behind Me Satan

4.1 27
by The White Stripes
     
 

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The White Stripes' brand of power-duo minimalism is as stylized as anything to emerge from the belly of the rock 'n' roll beast in decades -- a fact that makes it all the more daring for them to break so thoroughly from their guitar-drum blues-rock template on this unflaggingly bracing album. Electric guitars play only a small part in Get Behind Me Satan's…  See more details below

Overview

The White Stripes' brand of power-duo minimalism is as stylized as anything to emerge from the belly of the rock 'n' roll beast in decades -- a fact that makes it all the more daring for them to break so thoroughly from their guitar-drum blues-rock template on this unflaggingly bracing album. Electric guitars play only a small part in Get Behind Me Satan's sonic tapestry, slicing starkly on "Blue Orchid" and wailing with hellhound-on-their-tail insistence on "Red Rain." But the change in instrumentation hasn't diminished the intensity a whit. The piano-driven "My Doorbell," veined with Jack White's archetypically simple, passionate lyrics, has every bit as much plaintive power as anything the band's done to date (thanks in part to Meg White's visceral, groove-laden drum pattern). Many of the disc's 13 tunes are exercises in sonic restraint, from the marimba-laden "The Nurse" -- on which Jack waxes desperate, repeating the entreaty "I'm never gonna let you down" until it becomes a mantra of sorts -- to the deceptively gentle "As Ugly As I Seem," which could pass for an outtake from Love's Forever Changes. There's enough religious imagery -- from the lyrics of the O Brother Where Art Thou-styled "Little Ghost" to the slew of obscure saints mentioned in the album's thank-you list -- to hint that the disc's title is free from irony. Virtually all of Satan's songs deal in some way with an internal battle between good and evil, pondering the pursuit of absolute truth in a landscape where such a thing might be considered archaic. Just as importantly, they deal with the quest for beauty in spaces -- darkened rooms, dusty bars, shuttered chapels -- that might look bleaker-than-bleak to the untrained eye. Eyes, however, don't come any more trained than Jack White's, making Get Behind Me Satan a thing of unquestionable splendor.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
According to Jack White, Get Behind Me Satan deals with "characters and the ideal of truth," but in truth, the album is just as much about what people expect from the White Stripes and what they themselves want to deliver. Advance publicity for the album stated that it was written on piano, marimba, and acoustic guitar, suggesting that it was going to be a quiet retreat to the band's little room after the big sound, and bigger success, of Elephant. Then "Blue Orchid," Get Behind Me Satan's lead single, arrived. A devilish slice of disco-metal with heavily processed, nearly robotic riffs, the song was thrilling, but also oddly perfunctory; it felt almost like a caricature of their stripped-down but hard-hitting rock. As the opening track for Get Behind Me Satan, "Blue Orchid" is more than a little perverse, as though the White Stripes are giving their audience the required rock single before getting back to that little room, locking the door behind them, and doing whatever the hell they want. Even Jack White's work on the Cold Mountain soundtrack and Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose isn't adequate preparation for how far-flung this album is: Get Behind Me Satan is a weird, compelling collection that touches on several albums' worth of sounds, and its first four songs are so different from most of the White Stripes' previous music -- as well as from each other -- that, at first, they're downright disorienting. As if the red herring that is "Blue Orchid" isn't enough warning that Get Behind Me Satan is designed to defy expectations, "The Nurse"'s ironically perky marimbas and off-kilter stabs of drums and guitar -- not to mention lyrics like "the nurse should not be the one who puts salt in your wounds" -- make its domestic skulduggery one of the most perplexing and eerie songs the White Stripes have ever recorded (although Meg's brief cameo, "Passive Manipulation," which boasts the refrain "you need to know the difference between a father and a lover," rivals it). "My Doorbell," on the other hand, is almost ridiculously immediate and catchy, and with its skipping beat and brightly bashed pianos, surprisingly funky. Meanwhile, "Forever for Her (Is Over for Me)" turns cleverly structured wordplay and those fluttering marimbas into a summery, affecting ballad. But despite Get Behind Me Satan's hairpin turns, its inspired imagery and complicated feelings about love hold it together. Though "the ideal of truth" sounds cut-and-dried, the album is filled with ambiguities; even its title, which shortens the biblical phrase "get thee behind me Satan," has a murky meaning -- is it support, or deliverance, from Lucifer that the Stripes are asking for? There are pleading rockers, like the alternately begging and accusatory "Red Rain," and defiant ballads, like "I'm Lonely (But I'm Not That Lonely Yet)," which has a stubborn undercurrent despite its archetypal, tear-in-my-beer country melody. Even Get Behind Me Satan's happiest-sounding song, the joyfully backwoods "Little Ghost," is haunted by loving someone who might not have been there in the first place. The ghostly presence of Rita Hayworth also plays a significant part on the album, on "White Moon" and the excellent "Take, Take, Take," a sharply drawn vignette about greed and celebrity: over the course of the song, the main character goes from just being happy to hanging out with his friends in a seedy bar to demanding a lock of hair from the screen siren. As eclectic as Get Behind Me Satan is, it isn't perfect: the energy dips a little in the middle, and it's notable that "Instinct Blues," one of the more traditionally Stripes-sounding songs, is also one of the least engaging. Though Jack and Meg still find fresh, arty reinterpretations of their classic inspirations, this time the results are exciting in a different way than their usual fare; and while the album was made in just two weeks, it takes awhile to unravel and appreciate. Get Behind Me Satan may confuse and even push away some White Stripes fans, but the more the band pushes itself, the better.
Rolling Stone - Rob Sheffield
1/2 Having clocked all rivals, the Stripes have to settle for topping their 2003 masterpiece, Elephant, the way Elephant topped White Blood Cells.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/01/2008
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0093624984283
catalogNumber:
512140
Rank:
3272

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4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"Satan" is defenatly one of their best works. The White Stripes have created a piece of art that, while not having much electric guitar, still seems as powerful and amazing as anything on "Elephant."
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Stripes have done it again! I loved every moment that I listened to this C.D. The Denial Twist is an amazing upbeat song and My Doorbell is so awesome as well. Another favorite is As Ugly as I Seem! This is an amazing and highly recommened album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The White Stripes have done it again! This album runs circles around "Elephant" and is certainly right up there with "White Blood Cells." From the rip-roaring "Blue Orchid" to the beautiful "I'm Lonely (But I Ain't That Lonely Yet)." Jack's voice sounds better than ever, and Meg plays so much more than just a crashing drum set at 4/4 time. Each song has it's own unique sound that makes this album easy to listen to. I enjoyed it so much that I was upset when I saw that it was almost done. BUY THIS ALBUM
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wondered if the white stripes could top Elephant and they did! Jack's lyrics are some of the most interesting in the industry. It's a shame this album was released because now I have to wait for next one!!! This album will not disappoint fans.
Guest More than 1 year ago
beautiful performance once again by the white stripes...quite different from their previous albums, yet probably one of the best."forever for her" and "the nurse" have the most unique sound with jack white on the marimbas..."little ghost" is a creepy cool song!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The new cd is the worst yet. Get behind me satan is a step in a new direction, the only problem is- it's in the wrong direction. Songs like my doorbell are completly rotten. Jack needs to wake up a start coming out with better music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the stripes have done a gr8 cd!!!! real good single by the way
Guest More than 1 year ago
jack and meg have done it again...they belong in the rock'n'roll hall of fame
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the way 60s bands brought the blues root of rock high in the mix, this album uncovers the country root. Imagine Robert Johnson playing Loretta Lynn songs on the piano.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is a must-have. It's excellent but not outstanding. I do think that this is probably just as good as Elephant was, but I liked all of the songs on that CD. I basically liked every track on GBMS, but a couple of the songs on it - I just though "ok...this is kind of dumb". Some of the songs on this album had AMAZING guitar music! WOW! "Instinct Blues" made me think of Jimi Hendrix music at times! Most people know Jack White's voice is a bit weird/annoying, but it definately works in the rock music world! They can make some of the best music I've heard. There music makes me tap my foot like none other...esp. this album! They have solid songs that everyone should know. Coldplay's album came out the same day this did and although I extremely like Coldplay, The White Stripes should be getting all the attention for this CD! BUY IT!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Id say this is one of the Stripes better albums, but it doesn't have the consistency of White Blood Cells or Elephant. There are some of their best songs on here like Red Rain and catchy classics like My Doorbell but not all of the songs are this good. Still great though
Guest More than 1 year ago
for their entire career the white stripes have been striving to make and claim a music style of their own. With Get Behind Me Satan, they have. It combines all of their elements into the ultimate WS gettaway. The White Stripes are a godly band that will pave the way for many bands, Get Behind Me Satan wont' be the last
Guest More than 1 year ago
The White Stripes have produced an album so original and unique, I would have to call it genius. Jack White has seemingly unlimited musical talent. This album is experimental, transitional, and distinctly different from anything I have heard. Get Behind Me Satan is a must for anyone who loves music off of the beaten path.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The White Stripes have created an art in their music. The way you can stand in front of a painting for 4 hours and be transfixed with the abstract shapes, The White Stripes have mastered this in their songs. Jack White proves himself to be quite the storyteller on tracks like "Take Take Take" which tells of lonely drunk wishing for fame and fortune. Little Ghost is a toe tapping number reminiscent of the country fame they acheived with "Hotel Yorba." While undeniably fun, "Ghost" has a haunting, sad undertone to it's sound. "Passive Manipulation" is certifiably creepy with the mysterious beautiful Meg White preaching "you need to know the difference between a father and a lover" All in all the White Stripes have taken a humongous leap in a different direction in album. While listening to the album my first time, I didnt know what to think of their songs but within time this album has become one of my favorites. The White Stripes have taken a big risk in experimenting new sounds but it was a risk that produced incredible results.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first listen I was disapointed with this album. But after a few times thru this album grew on me. So don't give up on this album after your first listen. Highlights~ Red Rain~ Instict Blues~Little Ghost~Take,Take,Take and the Nurse. Although I could not call it their best work.It is a good album that deserves praise. Without the White Stripes where would modern music be?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thing is about The.W.S. is that thier sound is never the same.They have thier own sound.They didn't copy from some other band's sound,they invented thier own. And I like how quiet this CD is,like if I'm really tired and want some muted and melancholy sounds,I always choose Get Behind Me Satan. My favorite songs are "The Nurse","White Moon","The Denial Twist","Forever For Her Is Over For Me","Instinct Blues","As Ugly As I Seem","Red Rain",and "I'm Lonely,But I Ain't That Lonely Yet". They're all unique and make me so sleepy. In "Take,Take,Take" you learn it's Jack and a friend in a bar,his friend buys him a drink and Jack says that's more than he needs. When Rita Hayworth walks in,just seeing her is all he could ever need.As the song goes on,he get greedier and greedier,wanting more and more,just one more thing will make him happy,just one more. Then he get's to where a autograph and a picture aren't enough and he wants a lovely lock of her red hair...or more. Then he simply scares her away with his pushiness. Well,this CD is all that I needed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must admit- I wasn't always a big White Stripes fan. I had bought a few of their songs on iTunes, but didn't think they were anything spectacular. All that completely changed when I heard this album. It is incredible. Every single song is different, and every time you listen to one of the songs it gives you something it didn't give you before. The White Stripes are unlike anything I've ever heard before. The vocals are great, the drums are fantastic, and the guitar is to die for. The day after I bought the album, I bought another of theirs. Now I've got all of them and listen to them non-stop. There's something for everyone in their music. Really, it's THAT good. I would recommend this CD to anyone who wants something great and unusual to listen to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
originality such as this deserves listening to no matter what type of music you like
Guest More than 1 year ago
Don't be fooled by the "old sound" on this album. The songs are garbage. I listened to the samples and thought this might be an interesting album. Big mistake. Save your money. You've been warned.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"Get Behind Me Satan," the gloriously off-kilter new album from Detroit garage rock duo The White Stripes, features more weird tales of alienation and lost love from alternative It Guy Jack White. But the second track, "The Nurse," uses an unholy mix of nursing imagery, complete with maid and mother references, to make a seemingly banal complaint about betrayal that isn't worthy of White--to say nothing of the skilled nurses who might be called upon to save his life if he gets into another serious bar fight. "The Nurse" does not rely on the sonic attack heard on the galvanizing single "Blue Orchid" and much of the band's prior work, which suggests what Led Zeppelin might have done had they spent their formative years at a Montessori school. Instead, the tone here is set mainly by White's cheerful marimba (!), which forms an eerie contrast with the lyrics and unpredictable stabs of his guitar and Meg White's crashing drums. Meanwhile, Jack slowly and clearly sings: "The nurse should not be the one who puts salt in your wounds But it's always with trust that the poison is fed with a spoon When you're helpless with no one to turn to alone in your room You would swear that the one who would care for you never would leave She promised and said, "you will always be safe here with me" But promises open the door to be broken to me." The refrain consists of Jack intoning: " No I'm never, no I'm never, no I'm never gonna let you down." The second verse: "The maid that you've hired could never conspire to kill She's to mother, not quietly smother you when you're most ill The one that you're trusting suspiciously dusting the sill." White is presumably comparing the faithful care one would expect from a nurse to that of a family member or friend, and I'll go out on a limb and suggest that it's probably a female lover. Wouldn't it be tragic if a "nurse," rather than taking care of you no matter what like she's supposed to, like she promised to over and over, instead put salt in your wounds, conspired to kill you, fed you poison, smothered you, and then took off? Yeah, man. In fact, maybe the "nurse" act was just a ploy all along, since it's "always with trust" that the bad ones strike. It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you. And unlike in the record's later fan evisceration "Take, Take, Take," it doesn't seem likely that many listeners will find dramatic irony here. It's true that nurses are professionally obligated to protect their patients. But nurses have had more than enough of their expert care being associated with romantic relationships, a cliche that continues to undermine efforts to have their vital clinical skills recognized. It's also not hard to see some of the male vulnerability that has fueled the battleaxe nurse stereotype here, as the narrator stresses how "helpless," "alone" and "most ill" he is. What man wants to be at the mercy of some "suspiciously dusting" woman at a time like that? Even the ways this "nurse" betrays our narrator display no clinical expertise. I mean, salt, poison, smothering? You'd think she could at least go for some plausible care-related method that might escape detection, like Charles Cullen and his digoxin, if she has to be so darn evil. The second stanza packs a real anti-nurse wallop, as the "maid you've hired," who's supposed to "mother" you, instead smothers you while you're "most ill." Clearly these roles--nurse, maid, mother--all run together here. But contrary to decades of the kind of handmaiden and maternal stereotyping in "The Nurse," modern nurses are skilled professionals with years of college-level e
Joad More than 1 year ago
In a dramatic departure from previous efforts, The White Stripes once again prove they are the premiere act of rock. Straying from the hard riffs that dominated Elephant and White Blood Cells, Jack and Meg employ a marimba, acoustic guitar, and a rhythmic approach to songwriting to carry their unique voice. Ranging from the bluegrass "Little Ghost" to the bluesy "Instinct Blues", the diverse abilities of the twosome come fully into detail.

Satan should take the White Stripes' album name into consideration. If he fails to bypass these two, they may just knock him out with their hard hitting rhythms and cymbal mashing. Music's best just got better.
Pink_Cuppah More than 1 year ago
What can I say? I LOVE the White Stripes! This band is truly one of the best! I cannot think of anything to really say except that each CD they make is as if they are adding on to their already unique sound. It's just another layer of paint to complete the mural.
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