Blog Post 2: The “Avalanche” of Kant’s Third Moment

Music is made to be inticing and evoke emotions in us that can only be expressed from the language of no words. In James Arthur’s recent song, “Avalance,” one could argue that various elements of the song such as the choice of key arrangements and use of string instruments makes it beautiful.

Spotify link to James Arthurs’ “Avalance”

Emily Harris in her recent review of the song states that Arthur’s use of “genuine passion” and his “consistent class” in the song propels him forward to keep exceeding expectations. The use of acoustic guitar, subtledrums, and string instruments in moments of emotion help portray the feeling of a man who finds solace from his mental turmoils through the arms of his lover. The use of the D major chord in this song is used to encapture listeners by using one of the “love chords” which envokes the feeling of passion and familiarness.

Kant argues that in order for one to come to a conclusion if something is beatuiful, they must first go through the various steps of determining if something can be classified as beautiful. In the third moment, if an object strikes curiosity, it can be beautiful. He states that it can be an “object without any purpose (either objective or subjective)”, portraying that as long as the object invokes some kind of feeling or reaction, it will lead us to experience or view the object as exciting or thrilling (PAB 295). Through these emotions, our own interests are influenced by our feelings, and in turn, causes us to feel complete when we find something that satisfies the primal need to absorb and observe art. This is confirmed by Kant, who states that the “mere form of purposiveness in the representation [is given].. so far as we are conscious of it” (PAB, 29).


Applying Kants Third Element, the use of emotions one has when listening to this song confirms the third element to be true. Especially due to the use of the violin in the song and the lyrics such as “tired of medicating the adrenaline” in addition to his adlibbing all help evoke the emotions of a common desire of one who is lost finally being found and loved. Although one could argue that emotions in this song are subjective to the listener, the general concensious is that most people will be susceptible to the raw emotion of Arthur’s adventure.



1 Comment

  1. megsimonsen says:

    I love your take on this! I’d never heard anything by James Arthur before, and I totally agree with what you said about raw emotion within the song.


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