Matthieu Chedid, better known by his stage name -M-, is a French rock singer-songwriter and guitar player. Since 2018, he has been the most awarded artist at the Victoires de la Musique Awards with 13 awards, tied with Alain Bashung. He has just recently scored the latest addition to the ever growing Asterix franchise entitled Aterix and Obelix L’Empire du Milieua, in which we seethe only daughter of the Chinese emperor Han Xuandi, escape from a strict prince and seeks help from the Gaul’s and the two brave warriors Asterix and Obelix.
The music is a mix of dramatic and upbeat flourishes, with obvious references to the Chinese connection in the storyline, via vocals and oriental styles. It’s an impressive and epic sounding score, filled with fanfares and martial sounding interludes, he composer also weaving ethnic Chinese instrumentation into his score and combining these with percussive elements and voices.
There are also gloriously romantic and melancholy compositions within the score, and a handful of more contemporary sounding pieces, in which we hear the composers rock background shine through. Like the movie the score too is filled with fun and mischievous interludes and even two spaghetti western themed compositions with whistler and electric guitar underlined by choir and percussion.
I also detected a nod to Morricone in the cue entitled Tu Nes Pas Un Peu Dang which has a sound that evokes the dramatic non-thematic material that Morricone employed within his score for Navajo Joe, dark piano, booming percussion being the dominant elements. The composer even pays homage to Morricone’s Once Upon a Time in America, as he utilises an arrangement of Deborah’s Theme, which is wonderfully touching. Plus there is his arrangement of The Ecstasy of Gold, again well done and although slightly different from the original it is still just as powerful.
Obviously the director of the movie and the composer are big Morricone fans. We are also treated to cover versions of We Will Rock You and I’ve Had the Time of My Life, well it is a comedy.
Many, of the cues are brief but still manage to attract the listeners attention and hold it. I love the way in which the composer combines soprano voice throughout underlining it with both symphonic and synthetic instrumentation. This is an entertaining work and I suggest that you check it out on digital platforms, you will love it.