You probably know Anna Wise from her collaborations with Kendrick Lamar. She has appeared on his last four albums and brought an experimental twist to his music each time. She's responsible for the half-minute of moaning that opens To Pimp A Butterfly's "These Walls" and also for the heavenly layered vocals in the verse that follows. Her boundless creativity is now on full display on her debut solo album.
As If It Were Forever trails off in many directions - all of them lush, intriguing and firmly tethered to Wise's vision. Songs like "Blue Rose," "What's Up With You?" show her strong suit of crafting sludgy, contorting soundscapes. The Denzel Curry-assisted track, "Count My Blessings," dabbles in the funkier bend of her earlier projects. The guitar-driven "Abracadabra" features a woozy chorus that hypnotizes you into practicing self-love and an always-welcomed Little Simz verse. The length of songs varies as much as their genre, but they always manifest as fully-formed ideas. A standout is the minute-and-fourteen-second "One Of These Changes Is You," which only consists of Anna's breathy melodies and Pink Siifu's distinct voice repeating a single phrase.
The project doesn't only benefit from Wise's great selection of vocal collaborators, but producers as well. As It Were Forever has Jon Bap, Nick Hakim, Gwenn Bunn and Mndsgn - among others - behind the boards.