If African and Middle Eastern flavored pop mixed with solid jazz is your thing, then waste no time getting Malak. If that combination sounds intriguing, then consider getting a copy of this disc. And if such music doesn't sound like something you are interested in, don't bother; you won't find much here to your liking.
The music is best when percussionist Patrice Heral, violinist Zoltan Lantos, trumpeter Markus Stockhausen, or percussionist Jatinder Thakur rise to the top. All four have a gift for expressive and creative playing that soothes one's nerves even as it develops in ways that are not predictable. Dhafer Youssef, born in the African country of Tunisia but currently based in Austria, delivers vocals make him sound like a male version of Virginia Rodrigues. He is quite talented and appears quite passionate but that energy won't carry over to many listeners. The other musicians on Malak all get at least a bit of time to shine and usually deliver but the disc remains hard to get into as a whole. Too much of the music appears to be of the "paint by the numbers" variety and the few points where the musicians seem to be really interacting with each other only lead to predictable, if well played, outcomes. If these players had some room to breathe, the results would have most likely been more impressive.