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Jacob Agar’s “Avinu Malkeinu”

Religious statements seem to come every once in a while in powerful pop music, but in Jacob Agar’s “Avinu Malkeinu,” the sentiments represent more than a lyric – they’re a foundation of the narrative itself. Through his verses and the adjacent melodic ribbonry that ties all of them together, Jacob Agar drops what could be one of the most compelling additions to his discography since making his initial debut, and to me, “Avinu Malkeinu” is required listening for classical crossover fans everywhere this autumn season.  

The confidence our star is bringing to the table here goes well beyond the lyrical content and extends to the implied beats that frame his every word. The thrust of the verse has an inspirational, almost motivational feel to it as it clashes with the laid-back tone of the lead vocal as we find the two battling for our affections in the fever pitch of the chorus, and although there’s never a clear victor in the battle, I think the audience walks away with the spoils of war more at the end of the day. Applied elegance works when it’s channeled the right way, and we’re reminded of that here.  

This hook is the most smashing element in “Avinu Malkeinu,” but I don’t think that makes the style behind the construction of this single one-dimensional by any means. There’s a brilliant layering to the instrumentation that isn’t getting as much love from behind the board as it probably could have in this instance, but all the same, I think it’s rather refreshing to find a song that puts its cosmetic features at center stage for a change. What was once commonplace in vocal pop has grown foreign and indie once more, and that’s perhaps the greatest takeaway from a composition like this one.  

Even though the subtext of this performance is overwhelmingly religious in tone, there’s nothing here to deter the secular fan from the melodicism of the performance. When he has the mic in his hands, Agar is one heck of a crooner, and I think he has the potential to grow an audience outside of his target market where a lot of his contemporaries would normally struggle. There’s a lot to be unboxed in his sound, and it’s only a matter of time before he experiments with what is already working for him so well in this piece. 

Jacob Agar is building a bold body of work that continues to turn on listeners in all the right ways in 2020, and with this kind of powerful material I feel he turns in one of his most well-rounded and heavy-hitting releases to date with “Avinu Malkeinu.” Cut with an intriguing video, “Avinu Malkeinu” is a larger-than-life jam that declares its performer is here for the long haul, and if you didn’t already know as much before giving it a spin, it will clue you in on the facts inside of its first thirty seconds of play. From beginning to end, this is an artist guaranteed to keep you engaged. 

Mindy McCall



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