- White Stripes Interview: Meg White interviews her brother Jack for Amazon.co.uk. Read it now.
Jack's life in particular has become something of a soap opera. There's been brawling (with Jason Von Bondie), a Hollywood romance (Renee Zellweger), car crashes and now his sudden marriage to 25-year-old model Karen Elson on the eve of this latest release. All very odd but completely engrossing stuff.
The same could be said for Get Behind Me Satan, a brave but weird fifth album recorded in just two weeks and containing just three electric tracks. Jack's familiar guzzling guitar stomp has for the most part been traded in for a more melodic acoustic sound that relies heavily on piano and percussion effects.
Tub thumping opener "Blue Orchid" follows the White Stripes formula which dominated the duo's career defining predecessor, Elephant. But the song is cut short abruptly, making way for the album's most experimental number "The Nurse", the first of three tracks dedicated to 1940s screen siren Rita Hayworth. While Jack sings: "No I'm never, no I'm never, no I'm never gonna let you down now", the sound of a tinkling marimba (giant xylophone), distorted guitar riffs, haunting piano strings and Meg's head pounding drum-rolls veer off in all sorts of directions.
By contrast the instantly infectious "My Doorbell" is simple and direct, driven only by a piano, drums and Jack's catchy vocal: "I'm thinking about my doorbell. When you gonna ring it? When you gonna ring it?"
And while the search goes on for the next "Seven Nation Army" it soon becomes clear that Get Behind Me Satan is devoid of such anthems. The closest the duo get is the Led Zeppelin-ish "Instinct Blues", a sublime track smattered with fuzzy guitar riffs and "Red Rain", which sees The White Stripes at their most aggressive.
Lyrically the album is dark and angry; especially on "Take, Take, Take". Here an obsessive fan rages in disgust at being refused a picture with Rita Hayworth just seconds after being handed over an autograph sealed with a kiss.
Get Behind Me Satan may fail to reach Elephant's stomping great heights but then Jack and Meg White are the most unconventional duo in rock 'n' roll. The album explores their musical capabilities to the full and in so doing proves they have more than a few tricks up their sleeve. --Damian Jones
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This album is definately worth buying given time will become a favourite. BUY IT!!
The best thing about the White Stripes is the way you can analyse them to death. The artworks full of symbolism and religious imagery, engrossing! And JAck wrote a very thought provoking....thing...yeah, the artwork alone is worth the price, but people ain't like that! They want the music too!
Luckily it delivers, OH IT DELIVERS!
I WOULD say that "The Nurse" is the best track. Built around a Marimba with seemingly sporadic bursts of noise and lyrics about betrayal of trust, how those who you trust with your life could well be the ones to kill you. The White Stripes at their most experimental, adventurous, and best.
There are two other themes that seem to prevail. "Little Ghost" and "Take. Take. Take" seem to be about falling in love with a ghost that only you can see. What a lovely thought.
Meanwhile, tracks such as "I'm Lonely (But I Ain't That Lonely Yet)" toy with the idea of incest....intriguing, seeing as we're still not too sure if "they guys" are brother and sister, hmmm.
See, it's intrigue that makes them. They are...some of the mystics of music. As such it's quite hard to hate them. How could one possibly hate a band this interesting?
Ah, yeah, the music. It isn't to everyone's taste. Some will be expecting (DEMANDING) more Elephant, more riotous rock outs. They WILL be dissappointed, they will spit upon this album and sit in a corner, foetal position, gently rocking, caressing their dog eared copy of White Blood Cells. But for the more adventurous listener, who appreciates the place of the marimba in music, this is a treat, well reccommended.
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