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[SXSW ’21] ‘For the Record’ review: Playlist of life showcases the importance of music and love

A playlist for life.

For the Record is a playlist posing as a television show. Screening as part of the Episodic Pilot Competition at this year’s South by Southwest, the series shows the importance of music and its effect. Each episode of the series is about a pivotal moment in life and the song or album that accompanies it. The anthology follows a cast of interconnected characters.

When the show begins with a former couple sorting out who gets which records, it does not bode well. Many will think they have to brace themselves for all the musical name dropping. For the Record is more than just a gimmick, however. The songs never take over and serve as a soundtrack – just as they do in real life. Music is part of the show and not the sole reason for it.

One of the best things For the Record does is showcase the timelessness of music. Eventually, everyone reaches the age where they do not understand “today’s” music. Still, it remains important to every generation. The tunes here are no different ranging from The Beach Boys to The Weeknd. Each episode takes an artist that can define a generation. The show is very relatable.

The series works thanks to its characters and story. Much like music, the feelings of the characters are understandable. Heartbreak and new love are a pet of For the Record. The songs and themes work together perfectly. Viewers will find themselves humming along to the music, but it is the story that will keep them engaged.

SXSW is March 16 – March 20. Tickets and a full lineup can be found here.

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