Fifth LP from the 'Stripes (V2/XL, 07 June 2005)
Get Behind Me Satan, which will henceforth be referred to as GBMS, is a departure for Jack and Meg from the distinctive blues rock sound characteristic of White Blood Cells and De Stijl. With this album, the band has released some of their strangest work since they fought piranhas on their 1999 self-titled LP debut.
Here are the facts before we move onto the tracks (from the insert):
Meg White: drums, percussion, vocals, triangle, bells
Jack White: vocals, guitar, piano, marimba, tambourine
(...yes, that was a marimba...)
All songs written by Jack White III
Published by Peppermint Stripe Music BMI
Produced by Jack White
Recorded by Matthew Kettle at Third Man Studios, Detroit -- February 2005
Mixed by Jack White
Mix engineer: John Hampton at Ardent Studios, Memphis
Assistant mix engineer: Adam Hill
Mastered by Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk
Sequence editing by Roger Lian
Photography by Ewen Spencer
Photo assistant: Nick Pavey
Artwork design by The Third Man
Layout by Arthole
- Blue Orchid
Not only the first track on the album, but also GBMS's first single, Blue Orchid is viciously splendid creation reminiscent of Deep Purple: one part incendiary guitar, one part off-putting falsetto, one part cavegirl drumming, mix and serve. Needless to say, the song is not representative of the album as a whole. Blue Orchid is one of the only guitar driven tracks on the album.
- The Nurse
This song is creepy weird. Imagine a 'Stripes song that features the marimba and chimes as its main instruments (you couldn't do it could you). Whatever chilled out vibe Jack has going is blown to pieces by Meg, who beats the crap out of her drumkit at the end of each verse. The contrast works well though.
- My Doorbell
This probably my favorite song on GBMS. It's piano driven track with solid percussion (think Led Zeppelin circa In Through the Out Door). Honestly, some music is deep and heartfelt, and some music is just plain fun. This song is the latter, and it rocks all the more for it.
- Forever for Her (Is Over for Me)
While not a terrible track, something about Forever for Her (Is Over for Me) seems forced. Jack puts so much emphasis on his rhyming that it runs the risk of becoming annoying by the end of the song. Also, it is catchy, it will get stuck in your head (or mine at the very least). Listen at your own risk.
- Little Ghost
- The Denial Twist
There's something jazzy about The Denial Twist. I like it. This is another piano heavy track, but Jacks vocal performance steals the show:
So what, somebody left you in a rut
And wants to be the one who's in control
But the feeling that you're under
can really make you wonder
How the hell she can be so cold
- White Moon
Perhaps its simply the mood I'm in today, but this song is pretty forgetable. The lyrics are somewhat intriguing:
But ultimately, when I'm listening to GBMS in my car, I hit next on this one.
Proto-social is the word
And the word is the bird
That flew through the herd in the snow
in the snow
- Instinct Blues
Ah, yes... here it is... this is where all the guitar is hiding. Instinct Blues is an incredible track. Jack resurrects his own inner Hendrix in what is one of his most impressive guitar performances to date.
- Passive Manipulation
- Take, Take, Take
The highlight of Take, Take, Take is the story that it tells. Much in the same vein as Eminem's Stan, the song reveals the sour tale of an obesessed Rita Hayworth fan running across his idol in a bar only to be ignored. The musical performances are solid, featuring a raucous mix of acoustic guitar and piano. Meg's drumming keeps the beat without taking over as always.
- As Ugly as I Seem
As weird it sounds, As Ugly as I Seem reminds me of Nirvana's iconic acoustic set, Unplugged. While any audible similarity is minimal at best, the intensity and integrity of Jack's vocal performance nearly captures the haunting quality of Cobain's.
- Red Rain
If there were such a thing as country punk, this song might well pass for it, at least for a while. Red Rain is all over the place, and it is wonderful. Jack mimics the sound of a steel guitar brilliantly in the intro and promptly starts slashing at his guitar strings with chunky power chords just when you're expecting a country ballad to start.
- I'm Lonely (But I ain't that Lonely Yet)
Let it be known that Loretta Lynn has left her mark on the 'Stripes. It's been a well known fact that Jack is really into roots music since his appearance in Cold Mountain. A solo performance, featuring Jack once again tickling the ivories, I'm Lonely (But I ain't that Lonely Yet) is a beautifully written country-ish song, a suitable closer, and must be heard.
The Lush endorses the purchase of this album...