If you’ve ever wondered how I view mixtapes in society, how I feel about music, or how nerdy I am in real life, please direct your attention to my long-lost twin Rob Sheffield and his latest release Love Is A Mix Tape.
Love Is A Mix Tape is both a story about Sheffield meeting, marrying, and losing his wife Renee, and an introduction to the culture of the mixtape.
Each chapter opens with a track listing for a tape that was made by Rob, Renee, or someone close to them. It includes the tape that brought them together (one Rob made featuring two Big Star albums plus other tracks to impress Renee), as well as a mix of the songs they were listening to on the day she died.
Early on, Sheffied explains the different types of tapes that exist, including “You Like Music, I Like Music, I Can Tell We’re Going To Be Friends” and “You Broke My Heart and Made Me Cry and Here Are Twenty or Thirty Songs About It”.
Throughout the story, it becomes clear that for Sheffield and his wife, as well as many of their friends and the people who pick up this book, music is more than just background noise. Music serves as a platform to build relationships upon. It helps us explain ourselves, it helps us to cope, and it helps us remember the people and experiences we love.
Love Is A Mix Tape is one of the most beautifully written and bittersweet books I have had the pleasure of reading. You can find out more about the book and Mr. Sheffield here.