Rob Sheffield’s Love Is A Mix Tape puts a whole new perspective on the era defining memoir. In amongst its tape bound monologue you get both a closer than close insight into the hardest loss to bear, as well as a musical window back to the days when tape was king and Nirvana was everything.
Love Is A Mix Tape tells the story of Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield’s romance with his wife Renee up to and beyond her tragic death in 1997 told through a series of mix tapes. The memoir starts out right from the beginning telling you about Renee’s death of a pulmonary embolism, but that simply doesn’t prepare you for the shock of it when it happens and it’s this ability to make you a part of the past that makes Love Is A Mix Tape so good, so sad and so inspiring.
In addition to the tragic aftermath, you are gifted an insight into their life before the death, taking in the coming of Pavement & Nirvana, the suicide of Kirt Cobane, their love of music through mix tapes and the brilliant lust for life that seemed to drive them. Like everything in my life, I came to music later than most, so I never once made a girl a mix tape, but there’s no denying Rob’s claim that the tape is clearly the most romantic way to listen to and share music.
While there’s lots of nostalgia to get lost in, some of it gets a little heavy in the final words of the book. However, Love Is A Mix Tape is a great read that sends you back to the 90s, reminds you what love is all about and redefines the impact of music on our lives. It’s also a roadmap to some great songs that you might have missed out on.
Rob Sheffield, Love is a Mix Tap review: 4/5