Get Behind Me Satan - The White Stripes

Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. Get Behind Me Satan may confuse and even push away some White Stripes fans, but the more the band pushes itself, the better.
  2. Too much of it -- both on the "experimental" tracks and the "traditional White Stripes" tracks -- feels like unfinished sketches.
  3. Even with a generous handful of tracks that easily rank alongside the White Stripes' best work, Get Behind Me Satan remains a confounding record, one that wears its "transitional album" tag like a heavy peppermint-striped crown.
  4. 90
    Hardly an alienating, experimental listen... White hasn't written such an accessible set of songs since 2000's De Stijl. [Album of the Month, Jul 2005, p.88]
  5. Very possibly, an even better album than Elephant. [Jul 2005, p.108]
  6. 60
    When the approach works, the results are bracingly exploratory; when it doesn't they're frustratingly half-formed. [Jul 2005, p.94]
  7. If you happen to be a rock band, and you don't happen to be either of the White Stripes, it so sucks to be you right now.
  8. A very strange album, which shreds the old White Stripes rulebook (no bass, just guitar and drums) and pushes into territories way beyond the blues and rock of their previous four records.
  9. Another remarkable White Stripes album.
  10. Though it might not be their biggest or best album, The White Stripes might never make a bolder one. [#10, p.114]
  11. So put aside your disappointment at the lack of squealing guitar solos and take Get Behind Me Satan for what it is - another massive step forward in the evolution of a truly great band.
  12. 75
    Like an art film that ignores narrative, there are moments on Get Behind Me Satan when the motion seems stationary. [Jun 2005, p.101]
  13. The material sounds frustratingly underdone - seeds of good ideas that might have flourished into something remarkable with more time and TLC.
  14. Get Behind Me Satan is surprising, all right, but not always in the right ways.... Too many of the tunes--and Jack's lyrics--are undercut by lurching, half-finished arrangements. [10 Jun 2005, p.105]
  15. Remarkably cohesive. [Aug 2005, p.176]
  16. The songs on Get Behind Me Satan are sturdy.
  17. A sidestep that’s as easy to admire as it is hard to love.
  18. Instead of copying the aesthetic of 1970s rock ‘n’ roll, they’ve copied some of last year’s more popular indie records. The result, though at times satisfying, mostly feels contrived.
  19. 80
    When a guitar hero abandons guitar, it can be because he's bored or because he's a provocateur, or, in the case of Jack White, likely both. But he pulls it off. [Jul 2005, p.113]
  20. 68
    A record with a few inspired moments that is otherwise uneven, incomplete, a little muddled and sonically hollow. [#16, p.86]
  21. Get Behind Me Satan marks the point where The White Stripes music has finally become as charismatic and mysterious as its creators.
  22. The real revelation here is their ability to show a more varied and at times vulnerable side to their sound.
  23. The White Stripes continue to surprise and entertain simultaneously.
  24. [It] 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?
  25. It's an album so strong and so unexpected that it may change the way people hear all its predecessors. And that's just a start. Listen long enough, and this album might change the way you hear lots of other bands, too.
  26. We've been waiting over two years for a follow-up, and in that context, "Get Behind Me Satan" is disappointing.
  27. The finest album of the White Stripes’ career.
  28. Both more deeply melodic and somehow more resigned and melancholy than his previous albums, White’s latest may just be his best.
  29. One of the most fascinating things about the Stripes' fifth album is that on first listening it is likely to baffle fans of the Detroit duo as much as it will eventually delight them. [5 Jun 2005]
  30. This is a subtle record that rewards what you're willing to put in.
  31. [Will] leave White Stripes' fans divided.
  32. Get Behind Me Satan is the first White Stripes album that sputters because it’s the first White Stripes album that tries to sell their image instead of their music.
  33. Get Behind Me Satan lacks the confidently muscular (if sonically overreaching) ambition of Elephant, the raw, bruising intensity of White Blood Cells and the appealing hooks of De Stijl.
  34. Get Behind Me Satan is the strangest and least focused effort by these unlikely garage rock superstars to date. It's also their finest, an Exile on Main Street-ish mish-mash where the sum is greater than the parts.
  35. White's commercial success has nothing to do with de Stijl or da blooze--just a strong, emotive voice delivering simple yet distinctive songs, which are fairly numerous here.
  36. Not everything clicks on Get Behind Me Satan -- sometimes it’s too timid and freaky -- but enough of it is so unique, even within the Stripes' own canon, that it succeeds regardless of its faults.
  37. It isn’t until you’ve given it your full attention that the album starts to reveal its true depth and worth with songs that stick and get under your skin and make you come back for more.
  38. None of the songs on Get Behind Me Satan is bad; all the songs together, however, fail to meet the Stripes' criteria that all you need is two. For these tracks, you need four, five, six musicians -- not to drench the proceedings in a Scott Walker deluge, but to fill the spaces, the former job of White's guitar and Meg's drum bashing.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 258 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 15 out of 167
  1. Oct 20, 2011
    The White Stripes, like The Strokes are a band who can completely change their sound for one record and it will be just as good as their other work. It's a strangely relaxing album and is a breath of fresh air from 21st century **** Full Review »
  2. Oct 14, 2014
    The White Stripes have a style and sound that I've never understood. Is it just me, or do lyrics like "And all the chickens get it, and them singing canaries get it, woo, oh, woo, now even strawberries get it, I want you to get with it, yeah, yeah, I want you to get with it, oh, yeah, I want you to get with it," sound a teeny bit childish and stupid? It's not bad, and there are a handful of good tracks, but gosh, this White Stripes thing is way overhyped. Full Review »
  3. May 31, 2014
    A few good songs on it but I just didn't care for a majority of this album. Didn't click with me as well as their other work. It's bound to happen I guess. Full Review »