The folks at the fictional Empire Records would know what to do about this: “Empire” the TV show, as a phenomenon, is crumbling.
Last year, the soundtrack for Season 1 debuted at number 1 with 110,000 copies sold. We were all excited because it nosed out Madonna’s “Rebel Heart.”
Well, the excitement is over. The season 2 soundtrack volume 1 sold just 39,000 copies when it was released last November.
Now the volume 2 of season 2 was released on Friday to apathy. On iTunes, it’s number 45. On amazon, the digital download is number 117. The physical CD is 170.
The songs are not being played.
Meanwhile, on TV, “Empire” is holding steady even though it’s down significantly from last year. The saga of Cookie and Lucious Lyon is having a sophomore slump on all fronts. The magic may be gone.
The biggest problem is that the show moves too fast, and the story lines are not developed. Like all soap operas, “Empire” got ridiculous– but it got that way too quickly and stayed there. Soaps have to pace themselves to stick around. “Empire” may not make it past season 3 at this point.
As for the music– it’s good! Timbaland is the producer. The songs are strong. I don’t know why they’re not being played on the radio. Something has disconnected with Columbia Records. “Freedom” and “Hemingway” are very good singles.