Published June 10, 2005
When White Blood Cells came out, everyone was wondering where Jack White got such a rootsy, genuine sound. With Get Behind Me Satan, Jack finally shows his hand. It turns out the garage rock guru is an absurdly knowledgeable music historian, as demonstrated in everything from the title—biblical quote but also a common bluegrass refrain– to tunes like “I’m lonely (but I ain’t that lonely yet)”, a final song that crosses tin pan alley and juke joint blues. Fans should be warned that the opening single, Blue Orchid, which sounds a lot like tunes from Elephant is not representative of the rest of the album, which is a lot less rock.
As impressive as Jack White’s use of sources is, his exclusive focus on love songs and ballads may be getting tiresome, especially when he quotes sources that struggled with oppression, poverty, jail, injustice and crises of faith. Still, he’s at the top of his game, and this is an impressive comeback from the sometimes droning Elephant.
Worth 4 beers. Costs 4 beers.