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The White Stripes
Get Behind Me Satan
By Devon McReynolds

The “genius” of Jack White has been raved about in countless reviews in every music magazine, and
Get Behind Me Satan certainly justifies those claims. The White Stripes remain true to their original sound, but add crazy flares of experimental spunk that would typically be deemed as inappropriate for the mainstream music community. Some White Stripes “superfans” have said that Satan is too different from their previous guitar-driven records to be enjoyed, but I do not understand any of these claims. Popular single, and first track “Blue Orchid” has signature Stripes thrashing, incendiary guitar riffs, as does the bluesy tone of “Instinct Blues”, and “Red Rain” might be the second-heaviest Stripes song to date --number one being “Seven Nation Army”.

The much-ballyhooed marimba makes its presence known on the mellow “The Nurse” and brilliant “White Moon;” in the latter, White manages to rhyme “mirage,” “garage”, “photo montage”, and “finger massage.” In piano-driven “Forever for Her (Is Over for Me)” White’s message is less ambiguous: “Let’s do it, let’s get on a plane and just do it, like the birds and the bees, let’s do it.” Again, right after this song, White jolts the listener with “Little Ghost”, taking on a distinct Southern accent, sporting a banjo over an upbeat tambourine, and singing about “the Lord above”. “The Denial Twist” shows White’s “funkier” side with a hot drumbeat, maracas, and more piano. Meg White’s charmingly innocent voice makes a rare, but appreciated appearance on “Passive Manipulation” over tambourine and piano that is wonderful, artsy, and creative, once again demonstrating the “genius” of Jack White.

All of the different genres on Get Behind Me Satan piece together perfectly, creating a record that is literally thrilling to listen to. Even after several listens, I’m still surprised and awed by the White Stripes’ ability to remain true to the sound that initially made them popular while experimenting with new techniques. “I was sitting there in a comfortable chair and that was all that I needed,” sings Jack on “Take, Take, Take.” On this latest album, The White Stripes certainly proved that maybe we need more than the safety of a “comfortable chair” to feel rewarded.