This is not a mix tape.

René Magritte is turning in his grave

Album title: This is not a mix tape.

Genre: Generic Spotify ‘Indie’

This is not a mixtape, this is a selection of songs chosen by someone who says she’s not like the other girls but then listens to exactly the same music that every other indie Twitter kid was listening to in 2013.

Gifted: Valentine’s Day 2013

To cover up the fact that this girl desperately wanted the approval of the boy she was trying to impress, she wrote ‘This is not a mix tape.’ on the front of the CD artwork to create the illusion that she, like, totally doesn’t give a shit about him either way. Flawless logic TBH. Except for the full-stop gives it away: she really does desperately want you to love her.

She came round your house on 14th February, mixtape buried deep in her handbag. She was secretly hoping you’d glanced in the direction of a calendar and realised it was the day of lurve. To her pleasant surprise, you had managed to go to the corner shop and buy her a Cadbury’s milk tray and a £1.59 card. In exchange, she gave you her heart. And then eight years later you gave it to a journalist, who promptly stomped on it. Ouch.

Best of You // Foo Fighters

The mixtape creator included this song because she wanted to stress that men with beards are right up her street. Never mind the fact that the recipient of this mixtape probably had more in common with the little drummer boy than Dave Grohl at the time…

Swim Deep // King City

I couldn’t get past the fact that this was written the wrong way around on the tracklist, which for a Type A personality like mine would be enough cause to rip the whole thing up and start from scratch. But, herein lies the creator’s genius. Along with the album’s minimalist cover art, the inconsistent tracklist formatting adds to the sense that she didn’t really put a lot of effort into making this mixtape at all. She’s covered all bases — if you laugh at her choices she can be like: “Ha, that old thing? I just found that in my glovebox on the way here. Joke is on you, buddy.”

Flaws // Bastille

You have always worn your flaws upon your sleeve
And I have always buried them deep beneath the ground

This song is the biggest flaw on this mixtape’s sleeve and I sincerely wish Bastille were left behind in 2013. Seriously. As a 17-year-old I wrote a whole article about the most overrated albums of 2013, and guess who made the cut?

Dancing In The Moonlight // Toploader

The fact that this song is on a Spotify playlist titled ‘ songs you might think are on the shrek soundtrack but aren’t ‘ says it all, really. Definitely Dad music.

Some Nights // Fun

When I hear songs, they sound like this one, so come on

And turn the damn thing off, already.

Wetsuit // The Vaccines

It’s a bold choice to put two songs by the same artist on a mixtape. It’s normally an indication that the band or singer means a lot to you — either personally, or it’s ‘your band’ as a couple. The problem with The Vaccines’ music is that literally everyone under the sun would name this song if asked to name songs that defined the summer of 2012. If you went on Pointless you’d get 100s all round.

A Dustland Fairytale // The Killers

This song tells the story of how Brandon Flowers’ parents met, so perhaps this track signals that the mixtape creator was seeking a fairytale future of her own. More likely, though, is that in a desire to avoid adding the predictable ‘Mr Brightside’ to the tracklist, she picked the most Sam’s Town-esque song from 2008’s Day & Age instead.

Lonely World // The Vaccines

I’m hedging my bets that the creator of this mixtape once got clumsily fingered to The Vaccines and this will forever be the soundtrack to that coming of age. Rumour has it that’s where the inspiration for the band’s 2012 sophomore album came from…

Walking Disaster // The Wombats

This is the point in the mixtape creation process where the creator got a bit bored and decided to wack in some generic indie songs you’d both danced to at a house party one time because actually, you’d only really been dating for a few months and you didn’t have that many memories for her to pad out a tracklist with.

Something Good Can Work // Two Door

I love the fact that the person making this mixtape refers to Two Door Cinema Club as ‘Two Door’. Psst — if the band are so well known that you can shorten their name and the recipient of your mixtape will still know who the song is by, it’s probably a wasted slot on your tracklist.

Michael Cera and Elliot Page // Anyone Else But You

Along with binge-watching Juno and Submarine in lieu of actually speaking to one another, I bet this couple once went to IKEA and pretended they were in 500 Days of Summer.

Feel // Robbie Williams

Notice how the cheesiest (and therefore best) song on this mixtape is the second to last. That’s because the creator of This is not a mix tape. has spent the past 50 minutes trying to convince us that this mixtape is not a mixtape, but actually, they kind of just wanna feel loved and hold your hand…

Club Foot // Kasabian

Acutely self-conscious about how soul-baring the Robbie song was, the mixtape creator massively over-corrected with the mixtape outro. Kasabian is weekend offender territory, and so the effect is a desperate and obvious attempt to reclaim some street cred in the final hour.

Overall: 6/10

There are only two skips (Bastille and Fun). It’d score higher if it wasn’t so painstakingly generic: pre-pandemic you could walk into any branch of Starbucks and there would be a playlist containing this exact set of songs playing.

What happened to this couple: They broke up after a year and a half of dating.

She realised she doesn’t actually like men with beards all that much, and now she posts “Boy done good” Instagram posts every Valentine’s Day.

He sits at home, in the same childhood bedroom where the aforementioned coming of age took place. Occasionally he listens to Robbie Williams in a 3am Private Listening session and thinks of her.

Want to be featured?

If you’d like to submit a mixtape for consideration (there’s no need to send me the physical mixtape), you can send me an email on beth.kirkbride@gmail.com or DM me on Twitter (@ BettyKirkers).

I can pay you £5 for photos of the album, album artwork, and tracklist and this gives me the non-refundable rights to roast your former flame.

Originally published at https://rippedtoshreds.substack.com.

The Indiependent Founder, NCTJ qualified journalist, Oxford University grad. Interested in tech, political communication & data ethics. Tweets: @BettyKirkers

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