As romantic souls scour shops for the perfect gift for their loved ones, the realisation hit me that the younger generation will never know the joy of giving or receiving that low-cost yet priceless present of a mixtape.
The lost art of the mixtape has killed romance as there’s just not the same thought, effort and passion in moving digital songs from one folder to another.
For those who are too young to know what I’m wittering about and don’t remember life before “playlists”, a “mixtape” is the art of recording your favourite songs in a carefully considered order to compose the perfect love letter.
Done right, a mixtape could earn you cult status among friends as well as being a unique gift for a boyfriend, girlfriend or secret crush.
Much as I love modern technology, I still feel a nostalgic fondness for mixtapes.
They were like sharing a piece of yourself with someone and could be everything from a thoughtful present for a friend to the ultimate seduction tool.
Music evokes so many emotions but mixtapes are a lot more just the music.
They’re about expressing your personality to show how witty, funny, cool, sexy and romantic you are through the subtlety of songs.
When you’re giving a mixtape to someone you love, it’s like using someone else’s poetry to express your emotions and is a real labour of love.
There’s a real skill to making the perfect mixtape and there’s a lot more involved than throwing a bunch of songs together.
A carefully curated mixtape has a theme to help the songs flow.
The first song and last song are very important as you need to start and finish with a bang.
You need to merge the right blend of catchy and infectious numbers mixed with slower, more meaningful ones.
Repeating the same band or artist twice is a no no – you’ve got to be more selective and there has to be variety.
Song choice is very important as you don’t want to hit someone with a sledgehammer with your intentions... or come across as a creepy stalker.
So songs like Every Breath You Take by The Police should probably be avoided.
When you’d finally created your masterpiece, you’d painstakingly write down the track list on the piece of card that came with the cassette.
The magic and mystique of a mixtape lay in the actual cassette tape itself. The youth of today will never know the excitement of the Sunday night ritual of listening to the Top 40 on the radio waiting to press the record button.
Nor will they experience the anguish of having a cassette tape chewed up by the stereo.
Or the delight after you meticulously glue the mangled strips together and discover it still plays – albeit with a slight squeal or distortion.
And who can forget the endless rewinding and fast-forwarding?
Mixtapes were invented to win the heart of the boy or girl of your dreams with your superb musical taste.
So forget flowers, heart-shaped chocolates or kitsch teddy bears when it comes to a romantic gift and rediscover the power of a mixtape and see if music can bring you together.