Someday My Blues Will Cover the Earth may very well be the year's best R&B album that nobody in that community will ever hear.

Someday My Blues Will Cover the Earth may very well be the year's best R&B album that nobody in that community will ever hear. The reason why is rather simple: Since its inception, His Name Is Alive (masterminded by Detroit native Warn Defever) has reveled in creating decidedly left-of-center pop/rock gems. For proof, look no further than 1993's Mouth by Mouth and 1996's Stars on E.S.P. Here, though, HNIA completely surprises with a sterling collection steeped in classic soul, blues, and jazz. Fronting the intimate rhythms is singer supreme Lovetta Pippen, who's been collaborating with Defever for the past few years. Highlights include "Nothing Special," "Write My Name In the Groove," "Your Cheating Heart," and "Are We Still Married." If artists like Sade, Billie Holiday, and Jill Scott mean anything to you, so will this recording.—MP