Carly Simon Loraine Alterman - Essay

Loraine Alterman

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

["Hotcakes"], Carly Simon's fourth album, demonstrates her continuing concern with basic human relationships…. "Hotcakes" reflects Simon's perceptions about sharing her life with someone she loves. The album's first song, "Safe And Sound," states the premise that the whole world may be topsy-turvy crazy, but it's somehow safer to go through it all with another human being….

It seems to set the scene for the rest of the album….

"Misfit" and "Haven't Got Time For The Pain" delve more deeply into the love relationship. Each song says in its own way how being involved with another person can help one overcome his or her own problems. "Misfit" is tough and even sarcastic whereas "Haven't Got Time For The Pain" is directly emotional….

Simon also probes family relationships in "Older Sister" which I think is the best cut on the LP. The song explains with a great deal of wit and understanding exactly how a kid sister feels….

Though nothing on this album is as instantly catchy as "You're So Vain," there is more than enough proof that Simon is a remarkable talent.

Loraine Alterman, "Sing a Song of Rock Romance," in The New York Times, Section 2 (© 1974 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), January 27, 1974, p. 8.∗