Dissecting Lady Gaga's "Teeth"

I'm going to try and remember to put up music posts on Tuesday. It makes sense simply because new albums are released on Tuesdays like new non-blockbuster films are released on Fridays.

I thought nothing of Lady Gaga's song "Teeth" off of her The Fame Monster EP until I heard it through headphones. "Teeth" is best described in my mind is how Cher would record "Half Breed" in 2009. 

Feel free to play along with the embedded video as you continue reading after the bump.

First, the beat is evocative of Native American drum and chant. There is a steady downbeat on a large drum, probably a bass drum, mixed with a large jingle stick at twice the speed. There is also a synthesized whine, almost a battle cry, to complete the rhythm. At the bridge, the drum doubles its speed and takes center stage, as if there should be a furious burst of impassioned dance kicking in. It's utterly fascinating and I wish I had the skills to do a mash-up of "Teeth" and "Half Breed," since the tempo and rhythm are almost identical. Lady Gaga takes the literal interpretation in Cher's song and makes it figurative. In fact, the placement of drum and jingle stick are the exact opposite - "Half Breed" has the drum twice as fast as the jingle stick. It's intentional, and I love it.

Lady Gaga is singing about sex again. That's a good guess on any Lady Gaga song. "Teeth" sets her as a woman on the prowl, about to tackle her prey if he won't tackle her first. She is wandering with "no direction" trying to do whatever's "alright." She places this as a primitive instinct, pre-cultural, with "no religion...no salvation." She is the hunter, the wanderer, the only person capable of fulfilling all her own needs by tracking what she needs and capturing it.

The lyrics are inane removed from the aesthetics of the song. It's that rhythm section that really sells "Teeth" as a standout track on The Fame Monster