In the annals of Lady Gaga’s ridiculous lyrics, it takes a lot for a line to stand out. But the command to “take a bite of my bad girl meat” is up there. That said, I like the visceral nature of “Teeth” a lot.


The line “show me your teeth” gets at something I think most songs about sex tend to avoid, whether consciously or unawares. Most folks, when they sing about sex, talk about emotions, control, performance. I love Big Boi, and “I’ll Call Before I Come” is a wonderful song, and “I’m a gentleman, I’m a satisfy your soul / And then I’m a get mine” is a great, and important sentiment, but it’s also kind of besides the everloving point. And just because folks aren’t being gentlemanly, or for that matter ladylike, that doesn’t mean they’re any more in tune with the truth of sex. I do love the bravado and filthiness of Lil’ Kim’s “Magic Stick,” but it works essentially because it’s self-consciously silly. “Hungry Like the Wolf” is marred by both awkward syntax, and the fact that it’s telling rather than showing, a cardinal sin in poetry and prose of all forms. “Teeth” is about losing your damn mind during sex. And I kind of think that’s as it should be.