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The White Stripes: Get Behind Me Satan

Blessedly Dark

~ Released on V2/Bmg Records, 6.7.05 ~

While Meg and Jack White can't accurately be characterized as originators or innovators, their abilities as interpreters are pretty exceptional. Get Behind Me Satan provides yet another wonderful example of what this duo can produce. The end product is an album comprised of mostly solid, entertaining tracks that somehow manage to sound vaguely familiar and simultaneously distinctive.

From straight up rock, to blues, to country, and just about everything in between, Get Behind Me Satan provides it. Meg and Jack's musical abilities are full display as they utilize just about every instrument fathomable with the conspicuous exception of a cowbell, but there's always the next album. There's a decidedly retro sound to most of the tracks with clear influences from The Doors, The Kinks, and Led Zeppelin.

The album's musical breadth is complimented by lyrical breadth. Jack's songwriting delves into the pain of unrequited love, trust betrayed, and the frustration of messages misread by daft males. Ironically, there are no songs in Get Behind Me Satan that deal with demons, fire, brimstone, or eternal damnation.

That being said, Jack does clearly have an affinity for the dark side as evidenced in the otherworldly "Little Ghost" and "White Moon". While not a morbid album, Get Behind Me Satan isn't a light album and seems to reek of catharsis with lyrics like, "But she met me, then led me and I ate what was fed me 'til I purged every word in this song."

While not revelatory, Get Behind Me Satan is a solid addition to The White Stripes discography and yet another indication of the musical talents of Meg and Jack White.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars