The album is a dedication to the memory of Brazilian jazz musician, singer and composer Antônio Carlos Jobim. Franks had drawn artistic inspiration throughout his career from Jobim, and had collaborated with him in the past.
"Somehow Our Love Survives" marked the return of keyboardist and lyricist Joe Sample, with whom Franks had collaborated with on numerous albums previously, including Sleeping Gypsy in 1977 and Blue Pacific in 1990.
Writing for AllMusic, Ross Boissoneau praised the input of "heavy hitters", but lamented it was "neither Franks' best effort nor particularly evocative of the great Brazilian composer" the album was dedicated to. He concluded "while the revolving door of stars has served Franks well on other recordings, here they don't seem to add up to much."
The jazz/blues Down Beat magazine rated the album "good" in their March 1996 issue, reporting it to be "a genuine keeper, a guilty pleasure. Somehow Franks, a song stylist more than a jazz vocalist, once again gets his way, singing his indelible melodies that before you know it are under your skin, into your veins and etched into your soul..."