Saturday, April 20, 2013

Music Mix Emotions (Book Review: Love Is A Mix Tape, Rob Sheffield)

Before there were playlists, there was the CD mix, and before that, the mix-tape. I have a big fondness for the cassette tape. Maybe because my mom gave me a Walkman and it changed my life. All of a sudden, I could listen to something anywhere and everywhere, and it felt like these singers were only singing to me! I used to do mix tapes all the time, where I would cull favorite songs, and there was an artistic science to how I would order the songs. Some tapes are so embedded on my mind that even today, when I hear a song that was on a tape of mine, I would sometimes anticipate the next song as I ordered them on my tape. Rob Sheffield seems to be a kindred spirit of mine when it came to the mix tape, although his musical taste is very different from mine. He frames his memoir with mix tapes from his past, because we all know that music soundtracks our lives, and songs remind us of events, experiences, feelings. "Love Is A Mix Tape" is a very poignant memoir of a part of his life when he was younger, when he met Renee, a woman who became his wife. Renee passed away suddenly, making him a young widower, and this book chronicles those times. It's quite touching, and well-written, so personal you feel like you are right there with both of them, listening to their music.  I have been trying to steer clear of depressing books lately, and this caught me by surprise. I was struggling with a book and started this randomly, and finished it in less than a day. Yes, it was a little depressing, but ultimately it made me think - about my life, my relationships, my music. 


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