Some people have pretty lofty goals. Whether it be President of the United States, a successful entrepreneur, or a whale sperm collector, everyone wants to fulfill their fantasies. I, on the other hand, want to create the perfect mix tape.
When you think about it, mix tapes are a form of currency. They can make or break your chances with the object of your affection, so the better the quality, the better chance you have of getting that sweet, sweet lovin’. I now give you some handy tips for making a great mix tape.
1. Stay away from commercial radio songs
Sure, you may play it safe pick a popular love song that everyone knows, but it’s not a very original choice. Dig into your music catalogue and find something that reminds you of the guy/girl you like. The more unknown the song, the better. But at the same time, don’t pick something too avant guarde (you’re testing the waters here, so don’t put on any Animal Collective songs unless you know they’re into them). Remember, the amount of effort you put into finding good music is proportionate to the amount the recipient thinks you like them.
2. It should be no longer than 12 songs
I’m sure you can think of more than a dozen songs to put on a mix, but it’s best not to over exert yourself. Too many songs could make it seem like you’re trying too hard, so 12 is a conservative number. If you want, pick about 20 or so songs and then whittle it down to the best of the best. You want it to be directly to the point, yet long enough to play multiple times without getting redundant.
3. Don’t include on “Love Song” or “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure
Don’t get me wrong, these songs are fantastic. But including these on a mix is a classic mistake, because everyone knows them. And while The Cure are one of those bands that straddle the line between commercial rock radio and indie-dorm room introspection, including these songs is just laaaaaazy. Might I suggest “Close to Me” or “Doing the Unstuck” instead?
4. Make it upbeat
Meaningful, delicate love songs are integral part of the mix tape canon, but you don’t want it to turn into a snooze fest. Throw a curve ball or two! Add a few upbeat songs that you like, and think the recipient will like as well. You have to make it fun to listen to, because you want to come across as fun, don’t you?
5. 1,000,000 bonus points if you actually put it on cassette
If you know the recipient owns a cassette player, then you know what to do. Everyone has a soft spot for analog, and they take much more time and effort to make. Trust me, it’s worth it.
6. Decorate the case!
Made a great mix? Cool, but your work is not done. You can’t just hand in a tape/CD with just a track list, you need to give it some flavor. Even if you can’t draw for your life (i.e. ME), stick figures telling inside jokes is good enough. Just make it personal.
Once you’ve completed your masterpiece, turn it over to your crush and pray to whatever deity that’s convenient that you’ll score a date. There’s nothing like that anxious feeling you get when you’re waiting to hear back from the person you like once you’ve put your feeling out there in a 45 minute playlist.
And what if your crush doesn’t like your mix? Fuck ’em, that’s what.