‘Empire’ phenomenon continues with release of soundtrack LP

Empire‘Empire: Original Soundtrack From Season 1’
Various Artists (Columbia)
4 stars out of 5

Without question, the unexpected mega-success of Fox’s midseason drama “Empire” has turned the television world on its ear. The show’s ratings have grown each week since its Jan. 7 debut — bowing with 9.9 million viewers and now well over 14 million — and the music-fueled “soap hip-hopera” earned a second season after just two episodes had aired.

Empire CDLooking to strike while the iron is hot, the “Empire” companion soundtrack is now available. Featuring 11 original tunes from regular cast members and high-profile guest stars like Courtney Love, Juicy J, Jennifer Hudson, Estelle, May J. Blige and Rita Ora, the record should appeal to fans of the show.

Jussie Smollett’s “Good Enough” is the cream of the “Empire” crop, and tunes from Yazz & Smollett (“No Apologies”), Estelle & Smollett (“Conqueror”), Hudson (“Remember the Music”), Blige & Terrence Howard (“Shake Down”) and Hudson & Juicy J (“Whatever Makes You Happy”) also soar. Good stuff. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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