Reviewing Lady Gaga’s Fame Monster: Track-By-Track

6. Telephone (featuring Beyonce)


STEF: My #1 feeling about this song is that Carly and her roommate Cesar have DEFINITELY already choreographed a dance for this song in their living room. There is nothing I love more in this world than the moment in “Telephone” where Beyonce busts through the door like the Kool Aid guy, all huge diva hair and sequins and RIGHTEOUSLY PISSED OFF about some bullshit her man is pulling. Sasha Fierce is NOT GETTING HER FUCKING COAT ANY FASTER, OK!?!?!

ALEX: Our lady of terrible/AWESOME gives us our anthem (possibly) with “Telephone” which in my opinion has its share of terrible lyrics (“Just a second, its my favorite song they’re gonna play, And I cannot text you with a drink in my hand, eh” – really?) but the absolute most awesome hook(s) and melodies. Gaga’s job is to make me wanna dance and this does it for me.

I have so many good feelings about this song and the future: I’d like to see the video stat and it better make up for the crap that was Beyonce’s “Video Phone” (featuring Gaga herself) that I so patiently anticipated — for nothing.

Also I’d like to dance to “Telephone” in public or on a dance floor sometime really soon. Something tells me I won’t have to wait long…

7. So Happy I Could Die

STEF: For a song that starts out talking about masturbating over a girl, this is a surprisingly bland track. “So Happy I Could Die” is another Space Cowboy/RedOne track, which is even odder – these three haven’t written a boring song together um, EVER. Sure, maybe it’s harder to get your average bubblegum pop star to sing about touching herself at night, but this just doesn’t sound like Gaga. It could be anyone. I wish they’d stuck to their tried-and-true method of crafting perfect pop hits, ’cause this one sounds like it could be any girl on the radio.


“I love that lavender blonde,
The way she moves,
The way she walks,
I touch myself can’t get enough”

Gaga clearly wrote these lyrics cause she knew Autostraddle would find them AND HOLD ONTO THEM WITH ALL WE GOT. Gayest song we have on this album right here, so I appreciate the subject-matter. “So Happy I Could Die” is chill. Like you can groove to it and sing along while driving or something. I’m cool with it but the song is just alright… she even says it herself in the chorus. (“So happy I could die and it’s alright...”)

8. Teeth

ALEX: It’s really hard to review a song that you can’t even listen through more than once honestly. I tried, I really tried! I love Gaga, you guys! I love her with the fire of a thousand suns but I’m just not into this jam at all. She’s just going to have to prove to me otherwise when she performs it live cause you know everything Lady Gaga does live turns to gold-plated unicorns.
So uh… I’ll let Stef take it from here!

fame monster lady gaga 1STEF: Oh, Gaga. No matter how weird she got on “The Fame,” Gaga’s weaker material was somehow always acceptable. I always wondered what it would sound like if she did something that actually fell flat, and “Teeth”… well. It sounds like it could have been a cute segue piece in between songs, like perhaps leading “Alejandro” into “Monster,” but as an album closer it falls flat. It’s SO theatrical and cabaret that the overwhelming visual in my mind is of Christina Aguilera in her dark underground lair, seething that her “Back to Basics” schtick has been stolen. The thing is, this song is just WEIRD. I’d love to see it live, perhaps with a stronger hip-hop beat and some crazy-lookin’ Where the Wild Things Are dancers, but as it stands I can only picture it as a Colgate commercial.

Final Thoughts…

ALEX: What draws me to Lady Gaga’s brand of dance-pop music (and certainly the songs on The Fame Monster) and what makes them so fresh and ingenious seems to be her combination of great pop beats and harmonies with real fucking emotion. It’s why when I dance in the dark I can sing “cause when he’s lookin’ she falls apaaaart” at the top of my lungs and feel it in my heart as well as my bones.

I’d say Holy Trinity of The Fame Monster is made up of: “Bad Romance”, “Monster”, and “Telephone”. I think my personal favorite at the moment is “Dance in the Dark” and I probably won’t listen to “Speechless” or “Teeth” ever again or for awhile. Just saying.

STEF: The genius of “The Fame Monster” is that it isn’t REALLY a whole new album; this is just Gaga cranking out a few more singles before she starts work on her actual second album. Lady Gaga has always been able to write a brilliant pop song, but when she’s given access to the world’s greatest songwriters and producers, she’s able to create increasingly bold and refreshingly strange music that pushes the envelope of what pop music can be. “The Fame Monster” is just a sampling of a thousand directions she could move in. In a world where most pop singers are merely bland, autotuned actresses who don’t write their own material, Gaga’s hands-on approach is completely refreshing. While uneven in places, “The Fame Monster” isn’t afraid to be weird.

fame monster lady gaga 4

You can buy the regular edition mp3 version of The Fame Monster for $7.92. Also: The Fame Monster album (regular) The Fame Monster [Deluxe Edition] or the The Fame Monster Limited Edition, which has extras and comes out on December 15th.

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Cofounder and Design Director of Autostraddle. Professional web/graphic designer. Whiskey enthusiast. Drumming hobbyist. A past speaker at the 2010 BlogHer Conference ("Good Blog Design: The Role of Layout in an Online Medium"), 2013 Salon LGBTQ Conference ("Innovative Best Practices for Brand-Blogger Campaigns") and featured in the Los Angeles Edition of Refinery29's 30 Under 30 in 2013. Co-owns and manages Tully's Training, a dog training company in Los Angeles. Twitter: @a_ex Instagram: alexxxvegaaa

Alex has written 100 articles for us.


  1. Stef, all I see is bow and hair but that’s the greatest pic.

    I’m surprised by the lack of enthusiasm for Speechless. It has some of my favorite lyrics between the 2 albums.

    And I know that it’s complicated
    But I’m a loser in love
    So baby raise a glass to mend
    All the broken hearts
    Of all my wrecked up friends

    • I liked Speechless a little more once I found out she had written it influenced at first not by a lover, but by her dad. He was sick and in the hospital. That made me at least give it a second listen.

  2. YOU WILL DEFINITELY HEAR TELEPHONE TOMORROW NIGHT. it is my favorite thing right now. well, that and the fact that janet jackson performed the entire dance break in “if” during her medley at the AMAs but that’s neither here nor there.

    Generally I like this album and cannot fucking wait to see it performed live (that is, if I can manage to scrounge up tickets. DAMN YOU TICKETMASTER!)

    also Cesar and I really need to start choreographing this…

  3. Ace breakdown, girls. I haven’t exactly warmed up to Lady Gaga, but seeing all of this passion has convinced me to try again.

  4. I bought the deluxe edition on iTunes, and there’s an additional 4 new songs (Starstruck, Paper Gangsta, Retro Dance Freak, and Disco Heaven), plus the all of the tracks from The Fame (excluding Again,Again).
    Money well spent!

  5. I don’t get Lady Gaga like i don’t get milk.(the stuff cows deliver, that is)

    I’m not the huge Gaga fans most of you are(yet). She writes catchy songs, that’s about it for me.

    I have to admit, though, that there’s some really good stuff on this album. I’m starting to realize how not so wtf Bad Romance is. It’s actually a brilliant pop song, if you think about it.

    I mostly second Stefs brainflow on this one.

  6. Really? Nobody has any feelings about Beyonce Mr Kool Aid? It’s only the greatest Photoshop achievement of my life, no big deal.

  7. this is GREAT, girls! the first time i’m hearing most of these songs.
    also, can we talk about how fabulously in shape she is?
    we all need craig ramsay, obvs.

    • obviously I want to marry all of lady Gaga, but I’d totally marry her legs if I had the chance. Nicest legs EVER.

  8. I’m actually really digging Speechless. Bad Romance is still my favorite of the album though. Good review ladies!

  9. Thanks for reviewing and posting ladies! This was truly hilarious and enjoyable and informative and I’m digging each and every one of her new tunes. I have my special addition Lady Gaga The Fame Monster [Super Deluxe Limited Edition or whatever] pre-ordered. (Doesn’t hurt that I have some photos from The Fame launch in the booklet, EEEeeeeeeeee)

  10. Thanks for the break-down, ladies! I did a legit spit-take when I saw the Beyonce Kool Aid picture. I’ll be billing you for my new monitor.

    I may or may not have been naughty and used magic to listen to the album for the past 2 weeks straight. I DID NOT like “Teeth” the first 100 times I listened to it, but it really grew on me. It’s definitely not my favorite song by far, but I like it.

    When I heard “Telephone” I wanted to hate it. But I couldn’t. No matter how hard I tried. It’s. So. Good.

    As for “Speechless,” I’m fairly disappointed. GaGa hyped it up so much, and I thought the reason the song was written (to convince her dad to get surgery) was interesting and sad. I certainly don’t hate it, but it’s kinda meh to me.

    I really, really love the album overall. And I love you. Yes, you.

  11. *Raises hand during the class discussion, hopes no one throws anything*

    Ahem..I love Lady Gaga! I really do but I have to say I don;t like this album. Bad Romance is AWESOME!! But the other tracks just fall short. They feel like demos that didn’t make the Fame and for good reason. However, I do like the unrealsed/unmentioined track “Filthy Pop” its stuck in my head.

    • I won’t throw anything at you, I promise! I didn’t exactly rave about it either. Really though, not even “Telephone” or “Monster”? Ahh I really don’t like “Filthy Pop” but now I’m gonna have to give it another few chances cause you said that

      • Telephone is prob going to have to grow on me. And if they do a music video i might get hooked. I liked the version of speechless at the AMA’s.

        And i will be the first to admit that “Filthy Pop” is not the greatest song, it doesn;t really go anywhere or have a point. But it is nice background music to like sort clothes or dust. Its stuck in my head.

  12. I love Lady Gaga the persona, the spectacle. Her performances and videos are crazy awesome weird. But I don’t think I can sit and just listen to more than a few of her songs straight through in one sitting. I actually really like Speechless, though. And Bad Romance is pretty awesome and will stuck in my head forever and ever amen.

  13. I saw the tweet about this article and was really hoping it would be Alex & Stef doing uke versions of all the songs. But this works too.
    How great is Monster?? I also like how she recycles certain lyrics in the this album, like free bitch. Tegan & Sara do that, too.
    I didn’t even catch the Kubrick reference until you guys mentioned it. Between that and Sylvia Plath and her love of performance art, well I feel like I could have really great conversations with this woman. But she also loves to dance! I love her so much.

  14. Y’alls is crazy, “Teeth” is a hot track. It’s like a Gaga song birthed by the creative genius of Poe and Roisin Murphy. AKA “a dream come true.”

    • YES I was trying to remember who “Teeth” reminded me of. Roison Murphy for sure- it’s such a good song! It’s become integral to my morning-walk-to- the-bus-stop playlist.

  15. Am I the only one who cracks up at “Teeth” everytime? I can’t listen to it without laughing. Just thinking about the way she says “show me your teeth” cracks me up. Just the whole song…oh god. Maybe I’m crazy. I do like the track though. And of course, I LOVE her.

  16. “You cannot resist The Gaga” – love it. I resisted for a long time for one reason or another but now I can officially declare that I am a Lady Gaga fan. Thanks AS. So… I’ve listened to “Dance In The Dark” the most out of all the new tracks. IDK, there’s something about it that sticks with me. And A;ex, you pretty much summed up what I think about “Fame Monster” – great review.

  17. ME TOO! But maybe you’ve brainwashed me: “What draws me to Lady Gaga’s brand of dance-pop music (and certainly the songs on The Fame Monster) and what makes them so fresh and ingenious seems to be her combination of great pop beats and harmonies with real fucking emotion.”

  18. Pingback: About album, buy, fame monster, lady gaga’s fame, gaga fans, pizza | Find me About

  19. work your blond benet ramsey – we’ll haunt like libearce – find the freedom in the music – find your jesus – find your kubrick.

    love that song

  20. The Beyoncé Kool Aid made me actually laugh out loud I kid you not.
    Mega kudos on that one and the very amusing review.

  21. Dancing to Telephone, in the car, really late, with friends, at an incomprehensible loudness, is my new favorite thing. Seriously, where’d Beyonce come from? She hit it hard! I surely hope we can see Carly and Caesar’s choreography. Love the review.

  22. so like, I can only speak for myself but I very vividly remember being at my friends bday party and her mom had games with prizes and I won an Ace of Base cassette tape and it was like the most exciting thing ever. I was probably… 8 and Lady Gaga & I are the same age and there is honestly no point to this comment at all except me telling that story because the Ace of Base influence thing made me think of it. I cant’ put coherent thoughts together today or ever.

  23. i really liked this album, and your review was awesome, but there’s something i’m wondering about the backing track for ‘Teeth’. i’ve looked at lots of reviews for this album, and NOBODY has mentioned it, but the backing track is traditional Native American music! i’m part Native American, so it’s weird to hear something like that, something quite personal to me in that song. but anyway, i’m just wondering if anybody knows where i can find information about the background track and who recorded it originally, who gave permission to use it, etc. because i know Lady GaGa’s fans are very important to her, i would like to know if she thought about what her Native American fans might think if she used a backing track like that, and if she didn’t think about that, i don’t know if i want to support her anymore. i know this is off-topic, but i haven’t found anything about this anywhere, and i don’t know where to ask about something like this. i’m not trying to make a big deal…i just thought the people posting on here seemed nice, and liked Lady GaGa, so i thought it would be a good place.

    thanks for reading

    • I have been playing it over and over since it came out, and yes, we have to be correct on that hunch. We need to find out where she got her music from. It sounds like a familiar native too, it sounds like a pow wow I went to, I just can’t remember the song and place. If I could place it, this would be awesome!!!!!!

      • it is! one time i actually found a lady gaga video on youtube that was an actual recording of a native american song for teeth, just not edited or pop-song’d at all. i can’t find it, but i’ve been looking for it!

  24. OMG … I love Lady Gaga … and this album is just great !!!!! … x Luvs youu Lady Gaga !!!!!!! … x ♥♥♥♥♥♥

  25. Yo.
    I am a musician. I am a music lover. I love Madonna, Michael Jackson, but also love Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Louis Armstrong, Classical symphonic Orchestra recordings, Guns N Roses, AC/DC, Indigo Girls, Beach Boys, Living Colour, The Melvins, TOOL, and many many more.
    I saw one Lady Gaga video, and then her SNL performance, and was excited to buy the album ‘The Fame Monster’ and share it with my children and my wife!
    My wife warned me that she thought my judgement had flown the coop, but I persisted that GAGA struck me as an intelligent, empowering female, with great musical abilities, and that the album would show this.

    This album is absolutely one of the largest meltdown letdowns of the last three decades.
    Nowhere in this album is there a sound that produces a reaction in me that says, ‘Wow, they put some effort into this.’
    In fact,
    My six-year old has created a plethora of more unique, talented, ear-loving catchy tunes with her radio-shack keyboard and her voice alone.

    Lady Gaga,
    you owe me one, big time,
    and I’m not talking about sex, baby. My wife does that thing with me all day and all night for realz,
    not with a damn disco stick- (whatever that is).

    You best take this money,
    fire every human involved in this album,
    head to L.A. or even Kansas City,
    find a bass player, a drummer, a guitar player,
    and perhaps a synth-keyboard master,
    get a new producer,
    and write some songs with some real emotion.

    You remind me of someone who has had their soul scared out of them,
    and now only lives to prove to the world that
    nothing much matters to you anymore.

    You dont empower anyone or anything,
    except your wallet.

    And, Lady-
    even in America- that will NOT BE GOOD ENOUGH
    over the long haul.
    I surmise all the males who ‘love’ her ‘album’(parenthesized because it has no musical qualities),
    are all secretly pedophiles,
    or worse.

    If you dont own up to the community, Lady Gaga,
    I suggest you find a new day job.

    I am very disappointed in you,
    we put a lot of faith in you,
    that you would knock our socks off.

    you have pissed off the all-knowing consciousness,
    and will be punished accordingly.
    Prepare to bend over.

    • “Prepare to bend over”? “Punished accordingly”?

      It makes me nervous that you have a six year old and a wife, Brad the Dad! I hope that sort of thing isn’t something you’d like someone to say to them eh?

      Also, it’s just pop music, you know?

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