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Rick Wakeman - Aspirant Sunset CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman

Symphonic Prog

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1 stars Very boring album.. sorry Wakeman but it must be said. I am one of the few people who actualy finds any satisfaction in listening to it. I noticed that of ten songs they all start with one of two introductions. Very peacefull and relaxing, good to sleep to. All the songs sound the same and arent catchy, complicated, or even prog.. just random piano tinkering.
Report this review (#27529)
Posted Saturday, December 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
1 stars Music for meditation and relaxation, made for the purpose of setting the mind in the mood for 'spiritual richness'. This is new age music (part of the 'Aspirant ...' trilogy), and would work pretty good as such had it not been for the use of electronic keyboars emulating the piano sound. When listening to it I get really annoyed and irritated by the synthetic piano sound, and end up turning the damn thing off. Not much to be said about the music; it is simple and smooth to the ear, nothing fancy, nothing challenging. Stay clear.
Report this review (#27530)
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars For insomniacs

One of the Rick Wakeman new age albums, "Aspirant sunset" was the second part of his "Aspirant Trilogy" (the other two albums in the series were "Aspirant sunrise" and "Aspirant sunshadows"). If one was feeling cynical, you could say the album was made on the cheap, as the line up consists only of Wakeman on keyboards. While there is little information on the sleeve, the official Wakeman website misleadingly states that the only instrument used on the album is piano. This is clearly not the case, as there are various synthesiser sounds and choral effects throughout. Indeed, I'm no expert on Wakeman's equipment(!), but I suspect the piano which is used is an electronic one. The album was recorded on The Isle of Man where Rick lives, and appears to reflect the peace he has found there.

According to Rick, the continuing theme is a "genuine study of music and the effects it has on the human body and mind". He researched the subject through long discussions with a Professor Cary Cooper, leading to various "experiments with sounds, tempos and musical design", then tested the results on "all types of people from hyperactive children to elderly insomniacs and even with people who were terminally ill". All this is taken from the album notes on the official website, but the most telling comment is probably that during one recording sessions, the engineer fell asleep at the mixing desk!

The music is certainly pleasant and inoffensive, and it does have the quality you would expect from the maestro. The pace is inevitably sedate, with none of the excitement of say "White rock" or "King Arthur". The overall sound tends to be rather one dimensional, with little variety. Thus listening to the album as a piece of music, it comes across as bland at times. To be fair, the object of the exercise was not to make a complex, uplifting album, and I must to confess to having found the set to be quite relaxing. There is however a fine line between music which is relaxing, and an album which is just plain boring. Here, Wakeman rather straddles that line.

The sparse sleeve notes which accompany the album urge purchasers to support the Council for the Protection of Rural England.

Report this review (#38106)
Posted Thursday, June 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Ten years have passed since I wrote the review of Aspirant Sunrise, which is the first of a trilogy of "Aspirant" albums keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman created in a prolific 1991 year. And now I am writing this review because I am having once again a journey through some of his forgotten albums (at least to me) I own and don't really use to play regularly. As you can imagine,, judging by my nickname, I am a huge fan of Rick Wakeman, I love his solo masterpieces, his work with Yes, his customs, his sense of humor and lots of things, however, it is undeniable he has released several regular albums that are far from being memorable, and I don't mean to be harsh, because I do enjoy this trilogy, but I believe his new age explorations are closer to oblivion than to excitement.

Aspirant Sunset is actually a nice new age album, but we all knew him due to his progressive rock works, so it is normal to find these unexpected releases as boring, different, unattractive. In this album he offers almost an hour of solo music (there are no lyrics, no other musicians, just himself and his keyboards) divided on 10 tracks purely fulfilled by new age sounds and atmospheres. All with a soft sound, peaceful and relaxing, so if you are in need of a moment of introspection and peace, you may play this album, sit comfortable, close your eyes and have a deep breath. It will help.

Besides this "therapeutic" use, I find the album difficult to enjoy on a regular basis, it is like one long song divided in 10 chapters, but the sound is practically the same in each track. If you like new age or need a dose of tranquility, I would recommend this to you, otherwise, don't even try to get it because you might be disappointed.

Anyway? enjoy it!

Report this review (#1525889)
Posted Friday, February 5, 2016 | Review Permalink

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