It’s refreshing to see a record in the age of downloads and radio singles that still pays attention to song arrangement; the opening for “…Satan,” the rollicking, garage-punk tune “Blue Orchid,” grabs you from the first with its “Seven Nation Army”-like toe-tapping beat and makes you eager for more. The song begins with a helicopter flourish drum solo from Meg and quickly breaks into straight-forward rock propelled by Jack’s falsetto voice. “The Nurse,” the album’s second track, switches things up with a slower sound and a marimba, the vibraphone-type percussion instrument played with mallets. All the songs on “Get Behind Me Satan” were, once again, written by Jack, and a listen to “The Nurse” or the album’s seventh song, “White Moon,” is a real example of a songwriter getting better with age. Other gems include “Take, Take, Take,” a sexy and perfectly danceable dirty acoustic jam about the highs and lows of modern celebrity, as well as “Forever For Her (Is Over For Me),” which might be the best structured song from start to finish on the entire record. The piano ballad finale, a tongue-in-cheek yet strangely touching song called “I’m Lonely (But I Ain’t That Lonely Yet)” is also worth your time, just don’t ask if it’s about the Whites’ enigmatic relationship. And yet: there are a couple of misfires. “Passive Manipulation,” the album’s ninth track, is handled exclusively by Meg vocally and suffers from a preciousness which makes it sound more silly than sweet. “Manipulation” is, however, mercifully short at thirty-five seconds. Additionally, “Instinct Blues,” a flabby blues track, attempts to be willfully anachronistic and suffers from childish lyrics and a wayward playing time of four minutes and sixteen seconds. There are some sparks in “Instinct Blues” but the sheer wooliness of this unfocused song eventually does it in.
Buy this album and play it regularly. On “Get Behind Me Satan,” The White Stripes continue to surprise and entertain. Best tracks: “Blue Orchid”; “Forever For Her…”; “Take, Take, Take”; “I’m Lonely...”