Various Artists: Original Soundtrack From Season 1 of 'Empire'

The hit music-biz soap gets a lukewarm companion album

Credit: Fox

Where's Cookie when you need her? This soundtrack for the hottest show on TV could use more of the beat-you-with-a-broomstick fire of Taraji P. Henson's character. Instead, stars Jussie Smollett (Jamal) and Bryshere "Yazz" Gray (Hakeem) headline a spotty set of original tracks with production by music supervisor Timbaland and his protégé Jim Beanz. They give Smollett his own "Cry Me a River" in "Good Enough." But underwhelming rapper Yazz gets the overblown "Power of the Empire." Jennifer Hudson and Mary J. Blige make cameos, while Courtney Love — all bluesy hurt on "Walk Out on Me" — brings a little rock-star cred to the party.