Music has different ways of making itself known — at a concert in between every onlooker, through the blaring notes of a stereo and into ear drums between the sweat infested crowds, or even from a record player as the needle slowly, steadily, touches the record, imprinting its initial crackles in soothing circular rotations.
But what about a good ol’ compact disc? All those CDs tucked away in dusty boxes in the back of garages – ol’ reliable. Don’t act like Best Buy and be so quick to abandon discs by discontinuing the sale of CDs on July 1 due to declining sales.
So what does the rapidly crashing death of CDs mean for playlists?
Owning a CD means having the hard copy of a well-produced setlist. When an artist releases a new album, nothing is more satisfying than pressing the play button on Spotify or taking the wrapper off a brand new CD, detaching the crisp edges of the case and unleashing the most beautifully (or minimally) designed disc, while a playback of Link opening a treasure chest surges through your head
It’s a no-brainer. Physical mixtapes need to make a comeback and CDs have more intimate value between people, as opposed to sharing basic playlists on music streaming services.
I get it, streaming is much cheaper and easier. In the digital era, listening to music can be conveniently done on the go. No longer do we have to carry around bulky CD players for which the only thing playable is a single disc for hours on end.
Not to mention all the free (or semi-free) music softwares such as Spotify, Pandora and SoundCloud; they’ve become a dream to music lovers everywhere as they offer unlimited storage. Adding songs to a library has never been so simple. It doesn’t require the purchase of an entire album anymore, or the stillness of a room and a recorder.
Trust me, I could never go a day without Spotify and some good earphones, but that’s not the point. Although music streaming has many benefits, it will never measure up to the authenticity of a disc.
Just like every book enthusiast loves the feel of turning a page at their fingertips, hearing the crack of a CD case and the soft hum of a CD player is irreplaceable.
Creating a mixtape for someone is much more soul breaching; you’re giving someone a piece of you. Someone is carrying your heart, blood and soul in the palm of their hands, with delicacy and adoration. They’re holding a fine-tuned set of distinctly handpicked songs that were chosen with your suitor’s interests in mind.
Delivering a crafted masterpiece of collected songs instead of a dull playlist where the only creative aspect of it is the title is superior.
When creating a mixtape there is always a purpose, which could be as simple as, “Listen to these bangers.” Or it could be much more developed, when every song symbolizes exactly how much you love the person who is on the receiving end. Or maybe you’re creating it from the opposite spectrum, where the beat coincides with how much hatred you have for someone. Personally, I would never give that to anyone, but hey, life is full of risks.
Maybe it’s just a spectacular party playlist that’s made for everyone to get in that party mood and become enthralled, because you know what they say, “Here for a good time, not a long time.”
Considering how the different perspectives and interpretations of a mixtape can sometimes be overblown, it’s worth contemplating that every creation is a representation of the creator.
After developing the overall message or purpose, song order is incredibly important. Order is what makes the mixtape. Whenever I create mixtapes, each song smoothly transitions to the next (or at least make an attempt). A playlist shouldn’t be a mediocre cluster of random songs. It should mirror the way other famous musicians have constructed their own albums.
Queen’s “A Night at the Opera” is one example of an amazing collection. In the album, all songs are connected when played chronologically and transitions are so smooth that it’s difficult to tell when the next song. It’s a complete body of work, and it gives the listener a greater appreciation of the record because it creates a desire to listen to the entire album from beginning to end, instead of skipping around.
In Logic’s album “The Incredible True Story,” he plays with the notion of storytelling through cutscenes. His album is complete with skits about two men who make an astronomical journey to a planet that’s rumored to support life after Earth, but eventually becomes toxic due to human intervention.
When artists release albums, order is important and when people create mixtapes it can make them that much more appealing. After all, it’s the listener you’re trying to entertain.
After finally compiling a magnificent mixtape, don’t forget to decorate the disc and its casing. These are the details that really make it much more emotional and endearing.
Physical mixtapes aren’t just another thing of the past. They need to be revered. Because CDs are tangible, it makes them much more meaningful; anyone who receives a mixtape in the form of a CD should appreciate all the effort and affection that comes with assembling and creating a work of art. Mixtapes shouldn’t only be seen as something that your dad used to make for your mom in high school, but as tokens of authentic sentiment.