For those of us who cannot strum a song on our guitar for those we love, making a mix CD can be the best way to express your emotions, especially when it comes to young love. However, to perfect the mix CD, there is a certain route you must take, with specific steps and directions.

First, choose a theme for the mix to create the lovey-dovey atmosphere. Ask yourself: what is this feeling that is driving you to make the mix? Is it puppy love, premature love, or an anniversary of when you first met? Depending on what is going on, a theme or tone to the CD is an absolute must. From there, choosing songs can be a much simpler process. Young teenage love? Try “Anyone Else but You” - the theme song Ellen Page and Michael Cera croon at the end of Juno. If you’re both fans of eighties rock, maybe power ballads like Air Supply’s “Making Love out of Nothing at All” can be the route to take. Or, if you’ve been together for a while, a group of songs with personal meaning can make a huge impact and a great keepsake, especially if the songs have become inside jokes of sorts.

Once you have so many songs decided, usually fifteen is a decent amount; the tracks must be placed in order. The ordering of a CD that contains random songs by varying artists can be the deciding factor as to whether a CD is enjoyable to hear. This is no click and drag affair. Although the entire mix CD process is an art, this may be the trickiest step to master. The easiest approach would be to listen through the tracks, know the beginnings and endings and how they feel. Make sure when putting them in order that the songs have a flow effect, and there are no dramatic changes. No need to have this person listen to the velvety ballad of “song,” only to be startled by the following track, an uplifting, powerful “song.” Maybe the ordering of the tracks tells a story. Once the tracks are chosen and set in place, the playlist can be burned onto a CD.

Cover art can be enjoyable if you do it right or horrifying if you’re no artist. Luckily, you have many options. Whether the physical CD has a doodle or simply a listing of the tracks, something on the CD and/or CD case is crucial. Maybe even a date of when the CD was created or the date of something that occurred that prompted you to create the album. Do not forget to give the CD a title! A great title to sum up an album can be the ultimate deciding factor as to whether the music is actually played - - or if the case is even opened. Trouble coming up with a title? Sometimes, especially with a love song mix, a title of one of the tracks can sum up what you are feeling or what you are attempting to say. However, through this entire process, there is a line one should never, ever cross, and it is a foggy area you could call the creep factor. When doodling or naming the album, consider what you choose very, very carefully. Creepy or suggestive forms of art, more often than not, will not be warmly received.

So, give it a test run! Make a love song mix CD for your personal recollections or as a unique, inexpensive yet genuine gift for someone else. Sometimes perfection takes a few tries, so making perfect mix CDs could even become a time-consuming, rewarding hobby. And, if anything goes wrong, simply alter these steps and you’ve got a hell of a break-up mix.

Have you ever made a mix cd for someone? Was it well received or no?