Intentionally released in time for Valentine's Day, 26-year-old Hawaiian singer-songwriter Anuhea Jenkins' unashamedly romantic second album, For Love, sounds like it should be the aural equivalent of a particularly slushy rom-com. Thankfully the Maui-born songstress has avoided the temptation to drench her lovelorn lyrics with sickly sweet melodies and schmaltzy strings, and instead has impressively managed to produce a genuinely warm and effortlessly summery record which might even charm those who curse the Feb 14 celebrations. Largely guided by producer Dwight Baker (Kelly Clarkson, Enrique Iglesias), there are a few ventures into his more familiar glossy pop territory, such as the staccato acoustic hooks and bubbling acidic bass-lines of "Mr. Mellow," and the slinky club-oriented crunk of "I Wanna Be There," both of which recall the faceless mid-00s R&B of Cassie, Ciara and Christina Milian. But For Love is far more enchanting when it soaks up the sounds of her island background, whether it's the laid-back beachside folk of "Simple Love Song," the timeless Lovers' Rock of "Crown Royal," and Estelle cover "Come Over Love," or the breezy reggae-pop of "Higher Than The Clouds" and "Moving On," while the strutting tango of "Fight For Me Tonight" and the stripped back piano-led balladry of closer "What Am I Doing?" showcase Anuhea's delicately soulful Alicia Keys-esque vocals in all their glory. A quietly seductive affair, For Love suggests that when it comes to the ‘female Jack Johnson' label, Colbie Caillat may now have some competition.
AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien