Big news for the biggest TV hit of the season: Empire’s soundtrack debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, beating out Madonna’s Rebel Heart, which came out at No. 2.
The Fox hit’s first outing is at its best when it eschews goofy gangsta-isms like “Drip Drop” in favor of chest-thumping ballads (“Conqueror”) or stirring hip-hop soul revivals (“What Is Love”). Exec music producer Timbaland holds everything together: Much like sex or Cookie monologues, even a middling Timba outing is still pretty great. B+
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