Mixtape Monday: The Crush Mix

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Welcome back to Mix Tape Monday, the blog series that celebrates all things mix-related.  Today we’re talking about the whole reason Mix Tapes were invented–The Crush Mix.

You know the drill.  You’re so head-over-heels in love with someone that every song you hear reminds you of them.  You savor the music that played on the radio when they happened to glance your way, convinced it was destiny that that song came on at that exact moment. But you don’t know if they’re feeling the same, so you test the waters with a tape that could be plutonic…but really, your heart is bleeding through every single lyric. The Crush Mix is meant to be listened to on headphones, alone and in one go, so plan your lyrics and transitions accordingly.  Sound clips are not advised here.

There are two types of Crush Mixes–the hopeful and the unrequited.  Today, we’ll be looking at the first, using a mix I titled Songs For Your Future Front Office (2005).  I’m not going to tell you who I made it for, but if you’re out there, Darling Recipient, feel free to identify yourself.  Obviously, this one went unrequited, but it was still fun to make, and I still think fondly of the recipient.  Let’s get started!

So, Love, Maybe?

I believe in upfront honesty when it comes to mix tapes, but you also don’t want to blow your load on the first song. So you make it something fun and maybe a little flirty. It’s a call to action, but you want it to be a good enough song on it’s own merits so that you don’t show your whole hand.  Because I’m me, I opened with The Smiths’ “Is It Really So Strange?” for the lyrics, “You won’t change the way I feel/because I love you/Is it really so strange?”

Lower His Defenses

After the first shots are fired, you want to bring things down a little.  This is a good place to introduce some not-necessarily-romantic tunes, songs you can claim you added because “I thought you’d dig this band.”  Songs that reference movies or other things that he likes (I went with Fluke’s “Absurd” because we saw Sin City together) will help fill out this section.  Keep it to 2-3 songs, max.  Don’t want this to turn into a LISTEN TO THIS OR YOUR LIFE IS MEANINGLESS mix.

Precious Moments

I remember hearing Depeche Mode’s “It’s No Good” for the first time in My Crush’s car, so onto the mix it went.  You don’t want to announce that you’ve been hording this song for weeks, that’ll make you sound like a stalker.  This is subconscious.  He’ll know, and if he’s gotten this far, he’ll be flattered.

Wanna Make Out?

This is where you can get sexxxy.  Slow things down a bit.  Play your cards right and this might be your official make-out song.  I went with The Police, “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” because I am a bad person.  It made him laugh, anyways.

Hello, You Fool, I Love You

This is a 2-3 song set of songs about falling in love.  Tell him how he makes you feel–gooey, dizzy, sweet, shy, show him what he does to you.  I generally feel like a giant dope when I fall  in love, so songs like the Magnetic Fields, “I’m Tongue-Tied” or the Long Winters’ “Pushover” went on this mix.

The Kicker

We talked about The Kicker in a previous installment, but here, it has a different purpose.  This is the moment where your true feelings come out.  No bullshit, just pure, unadulterated adoration.  This is the moment where it all comes together.  He’s listened this far,  it’s time you told him how you feel.  On Songs For Your Future Front Office, my kicker was Sting’s “Be Still My Beating Heart”

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4 Comments

  1. I’m just at this stage in a relationship. Every love song seems both perfect for the situation but not quite perfect enough for a mix tape.

  2. Makes me think of the YA novel “Just Listen” by Sarah Dessen, except they use CDs. But same concept. It also reminds me of my first summer job, where I had a huge crush on one of my coworkers who also happened to DJ the place’s background music. To this day, when I hear those songs, I immediately picture him dancing around in an apron.

    • I’ve always done CDs too, but I think “Mix Tape” now covers everything from a cassette to a Spotify playlist! Mix CD just doesn’t have the same ring to it…

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