The White Stripes

Record review

Phases & Stages

The White Stripes

Get Behind Me Satan (V2)

Are you there Jack? It's me, God. That's what Get Behind Me Satan should've been titled. Instead, despite its decidedly black title, the fifth album from Jack and Meg White is still pepperminty faux blues. Opener "Blue Orchid" is van-rockin' enough, and although Jack now looks like a cross between Carlos Santana and Richie Sambora (and not in a good way), he still screams like a hellfire preacher. "My Doorbell" sounds like the Jackson 5 on all the wrong drugs, while "Forever for Her (Is Over for Me)" sounds like Elton John on all the right ones. By "The Denial Twist," the Stripes' rock nostalgia binge has turned into a full-frontal theatre assault. "White Moon" is everything wrong about this musical, all chorus, lame lyrics, and piano-ballad wank. It's Jesus Christ Super Stripes. "Instinct Blues" is boozy barroom blang, which halfway redeems all the blues/folk chunka-chunka, but the rest of the album – the reggae, the Latin boot scoot, the steel drums – tries putting everything from the buffet on your plate, even the Jell-O you're not going to eat. C'mon, sounding like a stripped-down version of the Stooges wasn't such a bad thing, was it?

**

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