In the rush to buy expensive jewelry, chocolate and roses for Valentine’s Day, everyone should be reminded about a good old-fashioned, homemade gift that fills the Valentine cliché, but in a less expensive way. The mixtape.
The mixtape is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s a beautiful gesture filled with mixed signals that leaves the recipient even more confused about the relationship than they are about the fact that you just handed them a mixtape. I once gave a boy a mix CD and he hopped on a plane back to Ireland. True story.
If it’s a new relationship, every song is an opportunity for the giver to tell their partner things they can’t put in to words. It’s also a great way for the recipient to overanalyze every lyric of every song in an attempt to guess the other’s feelings. And such is love.
Sarcasm aside, in the matter of whether mix tapes are still relevant or not, the answer is a definite yes. Although the original cassette tape has seen its day, the art of grouping songs together has evolved into playlist making. The idea of taking the time to put together a playlist of songs you think someone else will enjoy carries more meaning than most people give credit. Whether it’s meant to introduce someone to new tunes or reminisce about the good old days (because songs tie themselves to memories in a phenomenal way), carefully constructing that 45ish minutes of music takes a lot of thought and effort.
So, if you are lucky enough to be awarded a mixtape from someone this year, consider it a huge compliment: that silver disc is loaded with a lot more than music.