The White Stripes

    Get Behind Me Satan

    4
    V2/Third Man - June 7, 2005

    The White Stripes depart slightly from their previous releases on their fifth album, Get Behind Me Satan, but Jack and Meg fail miserably in their attempt to shed their formulaic beginnings. Their previous albums offered a guitar-heavy, hit-or-miss blues style, but here the Whites have introduced pianos and background noise for an even more repetitive formula. Despite some moments of aural pleasure, Get Behind Me Satan hovers in mediocrity for most of its forty-four minutes.

    [more:]

    Opener and lead single �Blue Orchid� is Death From Above 1979-lite, offering a fuzzy guitar and stomping kick drum that tries so hard to be in-your-face but pales in comparison to what the two-piece from the Great White North are putting together. �The Nurse� relies on piano tinkling and frequent drum and guitar explosions that make me wish I were listening to the Fiery Furnaces � they actually understand how to tastefully merge avant-garde and seventies-influenced pop. �Forever for Me (Is Over for Her)� has an Elton John-esque chorus that would have done well on the Scissor Sisters eponymous debut last year. Even the record�s catchiest songs become grating, because everything that makes them worth listening to is recycled throughout the album. The irresistible melody on �My Doorbell� is repeated on �Forever For Me� in half-time, revealing Jack�s limited piano skills.

    With their lo-fi aesthetic, vintage sound and initially ambiguous relationship, the immediate fame of Jack and Meg White had nothing to do with their skill as musicians or songwriters. Six years after releasing their self-titled debut, Get Behind Me Satan shows the group trying to prove their relevance with lazy innovation. Instead of copying the aesthetic of 1970s rock �n� roll, they�ve copied some of last year�s more popular indie records. The result, though at times satisfying, mostly feels contrived. Get Behind Me Satan proves the White Stripes to be a band that has run out of ideas, held together only by its massive fame.

    Discuss this review at the Prefix Message Board

    Live at Reading Festival 08.23.02

    The White Stripes Web site (with sounds, videos)

    The White Stripes Web site

    V2 Web site

    SHARE
    Previous articleA Certain Trigger
    Next articleGang’s All Here