Forever Sharp & Vivid's polished and engaging debut combines instrumental improvisation with contemporary electronic techniques such as tape looping and drum-synth triggering. The dominant voice is multi-faceted guitarist David Torn. His ethereal, heavily processed, and looped landscapes prevail throughout much of the album, but on "Gore" and "A Short Visit" he plays sustained single-note melodies that recall Allan Holdsworth and Bill Frisell. He also plays acoustic guitar on "Breath" and "Godzilla and Rodan," combining percussive slide stabs and down-home bluesy riffs with open-string harmonics and suspended chords that recall Ralph Towner.
Drummer/percussionist Chris Massey is consciously indebted to Paul Motian -- as evidenced not only by his drum set playing on much of the disc, particularly Annette Peacock's "Nothing Ever Was, Anyway" -- but also by the inclusion of a Motian composition, "The Hoax." David CasTiglione (aka CasT) plays hip lines and dark tones on bass clarinet, and plaintive melodies on tenor sax. He contributes three strong compositions (all the other original material is credited to the trio collectively).