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The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan

After four albums of bluesy garage rock, it was just a matter of time before Jack and Meg White shook things up in the studio. With the oddly titled Get Behind Me Satan, The White Stripes turn down the heavy guitar and drum interplay and focus on their rural roots for a more unplugged sound. “My Doorbell,” “The Denial Twist,” and “Take Take Take” could have easily been huge rockers but instead are stripped down to just piano, drums and acoustic guitar — but the songs still have an attitude, mainly due to Jack White’s raw vocals. Other highlights include the Loretta Lynn-inspired “Little Ghost,” the fiercest and bluest track “Instinct Blues,” and “As Ugly As I Seem,” which best displays Jack’s intricate guitar playing. But while the majority of Get Behind Me Satan is strong, the first single “Blue Orchid” sounds lazily put together, “Red Rain” is an experiment best kept as a B-side, and “Passive Manipulation” features an out of tune Meg White on vocals. While Get Behind Me Satan is the hardest White Stripes album to get into, it will also be the most surprising and fulfilling listen since their 2002 breakthrough White Blood Cells. (V2 Records) Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Stars

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