Analysis of In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins

Analysis of In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins

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Analysis of In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins



"In The Air Tonight" is a strophic composition produced by Phil Collins. The aria consists of an electronic drum set an electric guitar and a prophet to add an additional fullness to the song. The exposition of the monody is at an adagio tempo. The electronic drum kit repeats a drum pattern with 12 drum hits in each loop, while accenting on every third beat {eg.1-2-1-2-1-2-1-22-1-2 | 11-2-1-2-1-2-1-22-1-2}. In the middle of the first loop the electric guitar roars a triple stopping that drags on for fifteen seconds, and is quickly followed by the sound of a nymph sounding guitar riff in the background accompanied by the prophet. The prophet presents the main melody of the song. A series of warm instruments accompany the drum pattern followed by the sound of Phil Collins's tenor voice reverbed a tad to add an eerieness to the song. He first announces in a slightly whispered, muffled voice:
I can feel it in the air tonight, Oh Lord
I've been waiting for this moment, for all my life, Oh, Lord
Can you feel it coming in the air tonight, Oh Lord
Oh Lord
Afterwards the same guitar roars in for half the time it did before as Mr. Collins proceeds to go into the first verse of the song. After the first verse he returns back to the chorus this time with additional vocals that lags behind his every word and ends with the guitar roar once again that comes predictably at the same time. The first words to his second verse starts with the singer's voice tweaked up a bit with the reverb machine. The prophet and a host of warm instruments continuously ascends with every whole note for a total of four measures in a harmonious fashion, but returns back to the tonic key after the fourth keystroke. In closure of the last verse the song increases from a (p) piano to an (mp) mezzo forte. An intense eleven strikes on a live drum set introduces the climax of the song, which then cancels out the sound of the electronic drum set, yet introduces the sound of a brass instrument that appears every two or three measures.

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With the sound of the vocalist repeating the chorus numerous times in an upbeat presentation, the rhythm of the song seems to drift to a strong andante tempo. The volume of this secular song descends as with Phil Collins exclaiming, "I've been waiting for this moment for all my life". In conclusion the song retreats to a complete silence.
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