Get Behind Me Satan is a radical departure from everything else the Stripes have done. In fact, many WS fans may find themselves baffled and turned off by the tracks, which use the marimba more often than the electric guitar.
If you're not already a White Stripes fan, this is not the album to get. Some of the tracks are difficult to get into, even for long time fans. It's their most disjointed, artsy and adventurous.
That doesn't make it the best, though. With only 13 tracks, one of which is a 34 second excursion that's just a tad bit creepy, it's the shortest album the Stripes have made.
Examining the tracks (four star scale):
Blue Orchid is the Stripes at their Led Zeppelin'ish. It's got a good riff and excess energy, so what more can you ask? Well, not quite as catchy as Fell In Love With a Girl or Seven Nation Army, but amply passable. 3/4
The Nurse is most likely the most polarizing track the Stripes have ever made. It's the most disjointed on the album, a bizarre combination of marimba's, intermittent loud drum bursts and signature Jack White vocals. I think it's a disaster, but others are likely to find some esoteric brilliance in it. 1/4
My Doorbell returns to White Stripes territory, even if it's not quite like anything the Stripes have done before. It's purely piano driven, and Jack spits out lyrics faster than he has before. 3.5/4
Forever For Her should be catchier than it is. It's recieved some praise as the best ballad Jack's ever written, but after multiple listens it still does not resonate. As it is, it's a nice track that makes sensible use of the marimba (unlike the Nurse), and has a nice feel to it. 3/4
Little Ghost is the purest country tune the White Stripes have ever made, with 3 or 4 vocal tracks (I think 2 are Jack and one is Meg, but I could be wrong) and an acoustic guitar that actually sounds more like a banjo. It's a nice track that's a little darker in theme than the presentation suggests. An awkward tempo transition is the only thing that bogs this otherwise top notch track down. 3.5/4
The Denial Twist may be the best track on the album. It's very groove oriented and Jack White has some really good lyrics to match the infectious beat. Once again, this is a piano/drums piece. 4/4
White Moon reminds me of This Protector off the White Blood Cells album, if slightly more developed. Jack likes to reference his previous songs, as is evident with the lyric, "truth doesn't make a noise" coming up. This song would be great with a chorus, but without one it's left to more or less ramble along. 2.5/4
Instinct Blues just rambles along, lacking a real form. It's very disorganized blues that completely lacks the punch "Ball and Biscuit" off Elephant had. As a result, the track is a bit of a mess. It has its moments, but just falls apart by the end. 2/4
Passive Manipulation is strangely creepy when you examine the lyrics. It's also barely a song-34 seconds???? I don't think that even qualifies for a 4 star rating, maybe I should divide it by 2. As it is, Meg White provides the vocals here; it's just a shame she doesn't get a song like the stellar "Cold Cold Night." 2/4
Take, Take, Take holds the key to this whole album, I do believe: This is a backlash against the popularity the White Stripes have gained. The track tells the story of a guy who happens to see Rita Hayworth and goes from merely asking for an autograph to asking for a lock of hair! it's perhaps the strongest storytelling Jack White has had yet, but it shows a little resentment in them, and I think that's why we got this very uncommercial album: the White stripes are telling us, "Leave us alone," or, perhaps, "Get Behind Me, Satan." 3/4
As Ugly As I Seem has a very nice acoustic groove to it and is a real highlight. It has some very nice acoustic guitar work-nothing real fancy, just very melodic. 3/4
Red Rain, with Blue Orchid, represents the harder, Led Zeppelin influenced Stripes on this album. After a little meandering in the beginning, it breaks into a strong track. Enjoy the electric guitar work here, all you rock fans, it's pretty good and it's about all you're going to get. 3/4
I'm Lonely perhaps demonstrates that recording with Loretta Lynn left a lasting impact on Jack White; this is a very Loretta'ish track, a nice little whiskey soaked country piano ballad. 3.5/4
Even I, an ardent White Stripes fan, was a bit perplexed by this disc. And, to be honest, it's a little disappointing-it's not as good as Elephant, perhaps not even as good as White Blood Cells and De Stijl (which were both strong albums). With some strong tracks, it's none the less well worth getting if you're a Stripes fan, but those not experienced with the Stripes be warned: this is NOT the album you want for an introduction to them.