By Margeaux Watson
December 02, 2008 at 12:00 PM EST

Cadillac Records is a good movie, one I that encourage you to see when it opens in theaters this Friday, but the musical performances, entertaining as they are, did not make me want to pick up the soundtrack when it dropped last week. Don’t get me wrong: Within the context of the film, I enjoyed watching Beyonce as Etta James (her acting outshines her singing), Mos Def as Chuck Berry, Eamonn Walker as Howlin’ Wolf, and above all, the immensely talented Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters. But let’s face it: As vocalists, they can’t hold a match to the original artists who lived and breathed the music that inspired the film. So while I was checking out today’s new releases at iTunes, I was thrilled to discover that Geffen Records has just put out a fantastic compilation called The Best of Chess Records, featuring the original renditions of all the songs in the movie. My advice? See Cadillac Records, skip the soundtrack, and cop this album. Ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby. Trust!