After Forever outlines the blueprint for Joey Anderson's well-established style with the usual assortment of plinking pianos, brittle drums and enveloping soundscapes. His true talent lies in his subtle arrangements and his knack for hypnotic repetition. Two songs on After Forever are near-perfect iterations of this style. The gently syncopated "It's A Choice" is a lesson in restraint at 113 BPM, with a near-whisper of a vocal sample and a careful 303. The simmering "Sorcery," on the other hand, is like a never-ending live jam with synths that twirl in fractal patterns. It's a languid eight minutes, but the drums have a jazzy sensibility that makes them feel as if they could go on forever without getting tiresome.
From there, Anderson explores the outer reaches of his sound. "Brass Chest Plate" gestures towards techno but with a warm flow like an ocean current gently pulling the melodic elements in its wake. On the ambient side of things, he turns the techno-album-interlude cliché on its head, producing two gorgeously textured standouts with the new age-y "Space Between Curtains" and "Space Colors Ideas."
That the ambient tracks are among the album's strongest says a lot about Anderson. Admittedly, After Forever doesn't add any new tricks to his repertoire, but it doesn't need to—his brilliance is a humble kind, and he's not trying to reinvent the wheel. In his interview with RA, Anderson said that he tries to "humanize" tracks and make them "related to some kind of human experience," and that's just what he does here. After Forever invites you to cherish its every rustle and warm drum hit, to feel what it feels.