Even more rare than finding love, at first sight, is the ability to come with a breakthrough, debut record and conquer the billboard with a generally defining sound of a subculture. Wherever the listener, however old they may be, there is something undoubtedly special about The Mamas & The Papas first record, If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears.
A first for the group and for the world, The Mamas & The Papas have some strange ability to be dated, but still relevant even well over 50 years later. A monument for the 1960’s folk music and sound, with If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears, the mundane reflections have never been so beautiful with the five vocalists that take turns soothing both the ears and the heart. Beginning with Denny Doherty, Cass Elliot, John Phillips, Michelle Phillips, and P.F. Sloan as the foundational members for the group, the instrumentalists take a seemingly background role when compared to the true magnificence to the vocalists.
Often music is a shared burden between a band that works to incorporate a flavor from the unique power of each member, but here on If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears, the performances are best blended together as a single, operational machine. As the first track, “Monday, Monday” begins, almost everything surrounding the track is featherweight. The harmonic vocals are iconic in their design which transitions an orchestral pull into the clockwork profile of a repetitive uncertainty.
The singles of a record are often overplayed but here with The Mamas & The Papas, the singles are timeless and impossible to skip through each listen. “California Dreamin’” is quite possibly one of the strongest pieces ever pressed onto wax that paints a depressed, but approachable day. Through the folk gloss, If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears can create gorgeous melodies that simultaneously enthrall and create withdrawal in a similar vein. Almost in a stance of a powerhouse performance, The Mamas & The Papas are a fragmented, but illustrative description of the 1960s uprising through musical flare.
Before the dust even settles on the feet of the band, If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears is ready for a reset and holds replayability to a dystopian perfection. The standard here becomes the bar of gold where The Mamas & The Papas stay a nearly perfect depiction of embodied seduction.