While some of Rick Wakeman's travels into new age music have relinquished some spiritedness, the same cannot be said for Aspirant Sunrise, a somewhat clichéd and inactive expedition into the realm of relaxation. Used as a means to bring musical enlightenment to a world filled with tension, Wakeman's delicate keyboard playing trails off into mundane electronic runs, short of his usual instrumental adeptness. Even though his attempts at conjuring up tranquilizing motifs are apparent, they tend to imitate other run-of-the-mill new age albums and are void of his trademarked keyboard style. Tracks such as "Dewy Morn" and "When Time Stood Still" offer up the best hint of his artistry, teased with some interesting synthesizer meanderings. The rest of the songs are bright in nature, but would have been bettered by some escalating rhythms or slight time changes within the realm of Wakeman's conceptual intentions. Aspirant Sunrise is the first in a two-part set (the other being Aspirant Sunshadows) meant to be played at the end of a stress-filled day.
AllMusic Review by Mike DeGagne