Making mixtapes has long been associated with sensitive music fanatics, largely of the male variety, painstakingly piecing together the sequence of songs that will tell that girl how he feels about her—perhaps feelings he’s yet to articulate in any direct way. And that (not entirely inaccurate) stereotype was cemented in pop culture by the 2000 film High Fidelity, and the Nick Hornby book upon which it was based. John Cusack’s character even lays out some of his rules for the making of a great compilation tape: “You gotta kick it off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you gotta take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you gotta cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules.” It’s hard to argue with that, but let’s just say that not every tape needs to open with a killer. You might want to ease in with something slow and seductive, or toss out something short and silly before things really get going. It doesn’t have to be representative of the whole, but it should lead the listener into a particular state, let them know whether the overall mood of the proceedings will be aggressive or soothing or playful.